Jimmy Carter, Palestinian Sympathizer

Jimmy Carter has emerged as the most prominent pro-Palestinian public figure in America.

In a new book, the former president offers a passionate defense of Palestinian aspirations rarely heard in the U.S. media and unprecedented from someone who once occupied the Oval Office.

Entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Carter's book has won him praise in the international online media and scathing criticism from U.S.-based Israel supporters. In the Israeli media, the reaction to Carter's defense of Palestinian rights has been more tempered.

"The bottom line is this," Carter writes in an online excerpt posted by his publisher." "Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens -- and honor its own previous commitments -- by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel's right to live in peace under these conditions."

In the United States, Carter's linkage of Israeli policy and the now-defunct South African system of racial apartheid has been greeted coolly by fellow Democrats, including incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"It is wrong to suggest that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere else that institutionalizes ethnically based oppression, and Democrats reject that allegation vigorously," Pelosi said.

It should come as no surprise that Palestinian-American Sherri Muzher, writing in the Jordan Times, welcomed Carter's apartheid analogy: "How are the situations similar? Well, in a 2002 speech in the United States, [South African Bishop Desmond] Tutu said he saw 'the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.' Back in 1999, former South African statesman Nelson Mandela told the Palestinian Assembly: 'The histories of our two peoples correspond in such painful and poignant ways that I intensely feel myself at home amongst my compatriots.'"

Gulf News columnist George Hishmeh praised Carter for "unflinchingly" stating his determination "to let the people of America know that there are two sides to many issues in the Middle East and that in order ever to have peace for Israel, Israel will have to comply with international law."

Al Hayat's Jihad el-Khazen wrote that Carter's book "shows that Israel has not offered, contrary to its claims, a deal for the withdrawal from all the occupied territories except for 5%."

"Carter falls short of a full critique of Israel's treatment of non-Jews under its rule," wrote Lena Khalaf Tuffaha in the Palestine Chronicle, "but his book challenges Americans to see the conflict with eyes wide open."

Carter's critics fault him both personally and politically.

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said the apartheid analogy "is especially outrageous, considering his acknowledgment buried near the end of his shallow and superficial book that what is going on in Israel today "is unlike that in South Africa -- not racism, but the acquisition of land.... It's obvious that Mr. Carter just doesn't like Israel or Israelis."

Writing in the New Republic magazine, former publisher Marty Peretz declared Carter "will go down in history ...as a Jew hater."

By comparison, the reaction in the Israeli media has been mild.

In a column for the Jerusalem Post, David Harris, head of the American Jewish Committee, called the book "a crude polemic that compromises any pretense to objectivity and fairness."

"In accepting the Palestinian narrative, Carter has conveniently revised history, excused the Palestinians for their tragic failure to come to terms with Israel each time the chance presented itself, and blithely ignored Israel's very legitimate security concerns," Harris wrote Monday

"A quick and superficial scan of the book turns up no new or inflammatory disclosures, but it does contain some particularly harsh criticism," wrote Haaretz blogger Shmuel Rosner.

"Carter, who has gone on an intensive tour to promote the book, has certainly noticed that the people interviewing him were less interested in Palestine this week and more interested in Iraq, as was Bush these past few days," Rosner wrote. "And indeed, this is one of the basic criticisms in Carter's book: There is not enough vigorous debate in the United States regarding the Palestinian problem. And this week, once again, it was not easy to find people interested in paying attention to this problem," he said.

When Carter was asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, why the plight of the Palestinians receives comparatively little discussion in the U.S. media, he said it was "a mystery."

Carter continued, "There is no discussion of these issues in this country that amounts to anything. There is obviously no discussion among the members of Congress. And even the American news media, wonderful ones like who you work for, The New York Times, The Washington Post and so forth, as well as the major networks and even cable -- rarely bring up any of the issues that are dramatized very accurately in this book."

Carter suggested that any congressional candidate who declared, "I want the Israelis to comply with international law," wouldn't have a chance to be elected.

"But it is a mystery to me why the news media don't at least give a sharp discussion of these issues. ... I go to Israel fairly often and when I go to Jerusalem, the debate is vociferous in the news media and among politicians. In Europe the same thing. In the U.S., no debate."

By Jefferson Morley |  December 6, 2006; 1:23 PM ET  | Category:  Mideast
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I have arabs, jews, catholics, and evangelical christians in my immediate family.

The jews nees to set the palestinians free. They need to close down all of the settlements as they did in Gaza - and I mean ALL of them.

The Palestinians need to reject hate and killing. This will require they stand down from their outsized arab pride, accept that their era of greatness came and went and can only be recliamed through peace, science, and social moderation... and admit that mistakes and murders of innocents were made... and killing of any kind is unholy.

PERIOD.

When the palestinians are free of murderous Islamists they will be free of oppression...the jews will no longer be hypocrites-of-the-holocost and peace can be discussed in the wider middle east.

I am a voting American Jew.

Posted by: Long Beach, CA | December 6, 2006 02:15 PM

As a kid I had always wanted to see Paris. At the age of 26 I went, fulfilling a dream. The Palestinians have no passports and few dreams, and can never leave to explore the world.
Jimmy Carter is correct in his use of "apartheid." And don't forget, he is an honorable man.

Posted by: | December 6, 2006 02:35 PM

Apartheid is not what is going on in Israel my friends. Israel has it's warts, every functioning democracy has them. But the last time I looked, Israel is the only country in the region that let's everyone vote and run for office. The Knesset has non-Jewish, Muslim members who contribute to the political debate in Israel. Tell me what other country in the region has any Jews left, let alone encourages them to be a part of the political process.

The Palestinians have walked away from every substantive peace deal, from the partition plan in '47 through Camp David. They have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

When the Israeli's pulled out of Gaza and the Palestinians were left to run it, they promptly voted for the most radical group to represent them. How should Israel react when it's "Partner in Peace" is Hammas, a group that routinely fires rockets at civilians and has steadfastly refused Israel's existential rights. Clearly, the current Palestinian street does not want peace.

There will be peace in the region when Palestinians decide to love their kids and their future more than they hate Jews and Israeli's.

Israel would like nothing more than to divert some of the billions of $$$ of defense money to other more peaceful needs.

Posted by: GS | December 6, 2006 02:49 PM

The fact that you characterize President Carter as the "most prominent pro-Palestinian public figure in America" is rather telling. It displays just how skewed the conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in this country. Mr. Carter's views on the conflict are not "pro-Palestinian", but merely balanced. When one avoids the usual dogma that laces American public discourse on this subject-matter and simply recognizes that BOTH Israelis and Palestinians have legitimate arguments, then one has acheived a degree of objectivity that is sorely lacking in our foreign policy. It's a shame that someone of Mr. Carter's stature and sincerity is being criticized (or characterized) as being biased when it is precisely "bias" that Mr. Carter is singularly trying to avoid.

Posted by: Christian Tamotsu Fjeld | December 6, 2006 02:56 PM

Would it be so difficult for Israel to comply with UN Resolutions 242 and 338 to withdraw from territories it had taken and occupied in the fighting including the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 and 1973 wars? Wouldn't it be a positive gesture for Israel to compensate the Palestinians who lost property as a result of partition?
I hope there will come a day when Israel and its supporters can accept critizism and respond with logical discussion without constantly using platitudes such as "Jew haters, antisemites, racists and they just don't like us" I support what Carter refers to his "bottom line" about Israel. On the other hand, I still dislike the fact that he gave away the Panama Canal.

Posted by: J. A. Lauritis | December 6, 2006 03:00 PM

Jimmy Carter is argualbly the most incompetant man ever to hold the presidency. When he was in office I was living in the middle east. After the Iranian hostage situation began and the failed attempt at freeing them the Arabs and Jews I met finally had found one thing they could agree on. That was the fact that Jimmy Carter was not fit to hold his office.
Never before or since has the US been help in such contempt in the region. Why anyone would consider Carter's views on the middle east to be valid remains a total mystery to me as the man is an idiot who has made it quite plain that like most hillbillys he simply doesn't like Jews.

Posted by: mike | December 6, 2006 03:04 PM

I find it laughable that anyone lisens to a total failure of a president who was booted from office in disgrace by a landslide. I think given the wars launched against Israel (3) and the digusting savagery it faces from arab terrorists daily, they have behaved reasonably. I can just imagine what we americans would scream for if we suffered all that violence from Mexico across our border. All the anti semites seem to forget that Israel is alonely democracy in a sea of arab dictatorships.

Posted by: pATRICK | December 6, 2006 03:10 PM

On this issue US foreign policy is held too captive to US domestic political considerations

Posted by: | December 6, 2006 03:12 PM

Jimmy Carter's book demonstrates very clearly The Big Lie frequently reflected in the views of anti-Israel voices -- specifically, the lie that "Palestine" is only the territory west of the Jordan River, and that is the territory that must be "shared." In fact, 75% of Mandatory Palestine is east of the Jordan River, where there is, and has for many decades, been a Palestinian state, albeit with a non-Palestinian ruler, courtesy of British colonial rule. Don't believe me? See David Fromkin's, "A Peace to End All Peace," Chapter 57, Section VIII, pg. 514: "The recurring suggestion that Palestine be partitioned between Arabs and Jews ran up against the problem that 75 percent of the country had already been given to an Arab dynasty that was not Palestinian." Thus, while Jews make-up approximately 35% of the population of Mandatory Palestine, Israel as defined by the 1949 armistice lines (the so-called "1967 border") represents only 12% of Palestine, while the Arabs, who comprise 65% of the population, already have one state on 75% of the land, and now want half of the remaining 25%. That is, the so-called "moderate" Arab regimes who are willing to let Israel to exist at all. The second Big Lie Carter tells is the notion that the "1967 border" is the "internationally recognized" border. In fact, not a single country in the world ever recognized the 1949 armistace lines as a "border." The third "Big Lie" Carter tells is his continual abuse of the phrase "international law" to justify his anti-Jewish bigotry. Israel has done nothing but exercise its legitimate right of self-defense while surrounded by states who want to exterminate it. International law does not require the Jews of the world to go back to having a knife at their throats.

Posted by: AMC | December 6, 2006 03:23 PM

In response to GS: It is true that non-Jews can vote in Israeli elections, if they live in Israel. President Carter's book is explicitly about the Palestinian territories, where people are deprived of the most elementary of human dignities, including and especially self-government.

Mike's post is almost beneath contempt, except to point out that a) this is exactly the sort of rhetoric that limits reasonable debate on this topic, and b) perhaps Carter's handling of American interests in the Middle East does not seem so bad compared to where we are now.

Posted by: Rob | December 6, 2006 03:28 PM

Jimmy Carter spoke like the man I always thought he was, a true man of his conscience. I was in the military when he was president and not one moment did I have to think that he would get us into a stupid war like our current president. Israel does have policies that mirror those of the old South African government and until those policies change there will never be peace for Israel.

Posted by: Wayne Paris | December 6, 2006 03:28 PM

What is so outrageous about the term "apartheid"? What is the purpose of Israel's fence?

I see several people taking potshots at Carter but not dealing with his argument. What is their solution? Endless conflict?

Posted by: RC | December 6, 2006 03:28 PM

It is interesting how Former President Jimmy Carter, who is also a minister, can be branded an antisemite and a "JEW HATER" just because he is an outspoken critic of destructive Israeli policies. As the man who negotiated the 1979 Gaza peace treaty between the Israelis and the Egyptians, he brought the Middle East region FAR closer to peace than ANY of his critics EVER did! And as one who has several friends who incidentally happen to be jews, does their being friends with ME make them self-hating jews if they happen to also harbor feelings of anger towards Israeli policy?

Posted by: Syed | December 6, 2006 03:29 PM

It is quite easy to see why Jimmy Carter was a failed President after listening to some of his typically asinine comments on the arab israeli conflict.

Posted by: Horace | December 6, 2006 03:32 PM

Jimmy Carter has been a long time apologist for Palestinian terrorism and it is a disgrace that his views are accorded even a shred of respect on this subject.

Posted by: Linda | December 6, 2006 03:34 PM

It is very interesting that many of the people that Jefferson cites in support of Carter (Lena Khaled Tuffaha, Sherry Muzher) are blatantly anti-semitic and a perusal of articles they have written will clearly illustrate that. Citing ant-semitic garbage like this Jefferson is why so many pewople regard you palestinian sympathizer!

Posted by: Glenn | December 6, 2006 03:38 PM

Honestly, can anyone criticize the Israeli government or even suggest that it is not acting in its own self-interest without being labeled an anti-semite? I happen to be a professional historian of the Holocaust, and I know what anti-semitism is, and this ain't it.

Posted by: Rob | December 6, 2006 03:41 PM

I am surprised we have not heard from that dumbass OD, this idiotic discussion is right up his demented alley. Chime in OD I need a good laugh from your customary stupidity.

Posted by: Kevin | December 6, 2006 03:44 PM

To Mike and Patrick...Perhaps you don't recall a little incident known as IRAN-CONTRA. So in your mind, were Reagan and his administration heroes because they made a deal to hold on to the hostages until AFTER the election in order to make Carter look incompetant. How evil is that? It it very convenient to have debates when you are not confined by the rules of logic, reality, or honesty. To AMC let me ask a simple question. Why can't you talk about UN Resolutions 242 and 338?? Aside from the vacuous statistics you threw out there, the language of those resolutions is quite clear. Give back the land Israel illegally acquired. It doesn't take a satistician to figure that out.

Posted by: BW | December 6, 2006 03:46 PM

I read "Exodus" at 14 and was suitably impressed. When I first began forming my political opinions I was committed to supporting Israel.

The intervening years have modified my opinions somewhat.

Conversations with a few Israelis suggest to me that they are deeply troubled by feelings of insecurity; they haven't really overcome the 1950s-60s mindset that at any moment the surrounding Arab nations may invade again and attempt to push them into the sea. The changes in the balance of forces, and the alliance with the US haven't been enough to alleviate their insecurity. Hence, they tend to over-react, which only feeds the Palestinian opposition including the terrorists and suicide bombers.

On the other hand, there is another important reality which Israel's supporters ignored: Europe's solution to the Jewish question was to support their voluntary exile to Palestine. Over a thousand years, the Europeans never fully accommodated to the Jews living among them, and too frequently abused, murdered, and raped them. It was certainly convenient for them to assuage their guilt by supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine. So Israel became the last European colony, established in a land largely occupied by another Semitic people, the Arabs.

The Arabs were understandably trying to escape the yoke of European domination, and opposed giving political control over Arab territory to a bunch of recent immigrants.

Sixty years later, many of the Arab nations and states around Israel have reconciled themselves to the status quo. It is not surprising that a significant number have not.

But then, of course the Jewish diaspora occured because there were a significant number of Jews who never reconciled to Roman rule and resorted to acts of violence, leading to the sack of Jerusalem.

Until the two Semitic nations inhabiting the region of Palestine learn to recognize each other as brothers, the fight will never end.

Posted by: Sane almost | December 6, 2006 03:46 PM

Jimmy Carter is arguably the worst US president (and easily worst ex-president) in the last 100 or so years. To figure out his rationale for writing it, one only needs to recognize that the former president considered Arafat a personal friend. They had, for reasons that escape me, some sort of bond between them. The use of the word "apartheid" in the book title is technically wrong - as has been pointed out by Jimmy Carter himself in the book. But Carter seems to go out of his way over the years praising all sorts of brutal dictators and terrorists (including but not limited to Hammas, Castro, Arafat, Yugoslavia's Tito, Romainia's Ceausescu, Haiti's Cédras, Kim Il Sung, and Nicaragua's Ortega). People need to realize that getting on the list of people that Carter praises is not a good thing. He is old and senile and needs to give up his delusion that he is still president and stop meddling in world affairs.

Posted by: Dave! | December 6, 2006 03:49 PM

Let's be frank. Any criticism of Israeli policies is immediately shouted down as coming from Jew haters, anti-semite, pro-palestinians, etc. This is so unfortunate. It's analagous to the homosexual lobby and its agenda in the U.S. You criticise their actions and you are immediately branded as a hater, anti homosexual, etc. Too bad supposedly enlightened and informed people can't have a debate and agree to disagree without being disagreeable and taking personal potshots at the messenger as opposed to addressing the message. Regarding the former President. I would give anything to have had him in the White house over the last six years as the quagmire in Iraq, I submit would not be realized.

Posted by: Adrian | December 6, 2006 03:52 PM

BW, the iranians made the deal to hold them because they held CARTER in complete contempt and wanted to humiliate him as much as possible. His bumbling incompetent presidency was the worst of the 20th century. Too bad the liberal media ignores his crappy presidency and its incompetence as they look to resurrect his image.

Posted by: pATRICK | December 6, 2006 03:58 PM

Adrian
You are right - there is plenty of criticism to go around in the Middle East (around the world for that matter). Neither side should be building glass houses. It's unfortunate that some can't discuss the various positions without the personal potshots. That said, the position taken in the book and specifically the title of it is, I believe, intentional, done to inflame and incite passions of Israelis and their supporters (and get publicity). It's a rather low brow approach, not becomming of a former president. The reaction to it, while unfortunate, is to be expected. Hopefully this blog can get past it and be a forum for intellectual discussion and debate.

Posted by: Dave! | December 6, 2006 04:57 PM

A thousand cheers for Mr. Jimmy Carter for being man enough to "call a spade a spade" in his analogy regarding Israel and South Africa; our congress needs more men who aren't only not afraid to speak their opinions honestly, but that also are human and compassionate enough to even be bothered. I never believed in going along with persecution or in being silent just because of how everyone around me is behaving. Mr. Bush and company need to get a clue from Mr. Carter and consider that his administration has been demonstrating a very one-sided and almost bigoted perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to The American People. I already know about how my forefathers were treated (I an African-American); is the problem based in skin color??? I wouldn't be suprised.

Posted by: Ray | December 6, 2006 05:04 PM

Sorry Ray, not everything boils down to the race card. Do you even read the news?

Posted by: pATRICK | December 6, 2006 05:18 PM

it seems impossible to have an intelligent conversation about Isreal in this country. Few are willing to risk the anti-semite or self hating Jew labels. The pro Isreal lobby has terrorized the politicians and the media into silence. Jimmy Carter is a man of substance. How sad. His positions simply echo the positions of many Isrealis in the Labor, Meretz and other leftist parties. If only Dave and his cohort would read Isreali newspapers, they might stop spouting their vicious nonsense. They are on the web. Haaretz is even in English, for those who speak no other language.

Posted by: bill | December 6, 2006 05:58 PM

Once again this comment forum is full of "Israel Boosters" whose day job is to flood comment forums like this en mass throwing predictable and absurd tantrums;some of them in some forums are rather nonsensical-- indicating computer generation. Israelis have killed Arabs by a ratio to 10:1. Israel's IDF IS THE state sponsored terrorist organization that does not recognize international rules or concensus. Israel is NOT in any sense in a struggle for its survival, but rather in a struggle for JUSTIFICATION of its regional hegemony. Its military is categorically unmatched in the region, and it is the ONLY nuclear nation in the region possessing an estimated 250 to 300 nuclear warheads. Germany has recently sold them 5 more diesel submarines capable of delivering the warhead to places like Iran. No wonder the Iranian hardliners want nukes of their own. Wouldn't any country under that circumstance? America and Soviet Union comes to mind. Israel is singularly responsible for the Iranian nuclear catch up arms race, and as always, the rest of the world has to pay for its consequences.

I have not read the book "Palestine; Peace, not Apartheid" yet, but I did see all three hours of the CSPAN show "INDEPTH" this past Sunday where Carter was interviewed at length about his books, the focus mostly on his newest. He did stress that the book is NOT ABOUT ISRAEL, but as its title states, ONLY about conditions in Palestine, though I DO think Israel is insidiously(has a veneer of democracy) more racist than South Africa ever was;it denies Israeli citizenship to Palestinian spouses of Israelis--which South Africa has never done to my knowledge; it also imports massive numbers of "Jews" of questionable heritage from all corners of the earth, but will not let Palestinians return to their familial lands in Israel-- all this to fufill the goal of racial hegemony--Israel for Jews. This rather destroys the myth of Israel being "democratic". Calling Carter a "Jew hater" or a person who does not like Israel or Israelis (which only seems to happen in the U.S. "inexplicably")by people like Marty Peretz and Allan Dershowitz, who once said that he could defend Hitler and he would win(denoting his outsized ego or his tolerance to Holocaust?), is not saying much AT ALL. I personally do not like current Israel and hardline Israelis for the things they are doing to their neighbors(or "enemies" in hardline Israeli speak), and I do intensely dislike Jews who knowingly support a country that second time since 1982 has used cluster bombs in Lebanon against civilians -- a war crime when collateral damage to civilians far outweighs the military objective. Asked why they bombed a large power plant in Beirut, the capital, IDF dead-panned, "Hezbollah uses electricity." IDF has openly boasted that they have set back Lebanon, a nation with democratically elected government friendly to the West, 20 hears, and they certainly have. Israeli war planes dumped thousands of cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the cease fire as it became inevitable, and has left 350,000(Le Monde, Haaretz,UN Humanitarian Coordinator) to 1 million(Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch) of unexploded bomblets each 155mm in diameter all over Lebanon in people's backyards, rooftops, fruit orchards, alley ways. It has been killing an average of 3 people a day and maiming many more, many of them predictably children playing outside, since the war has "ended". The rainy season since then has hidden these bombs in the mud, turning them into land mines, ensuring the killing and maiming will continue years hence(Le Monde, Christan Science Monitor) . All this predictable carnage(this war was apparently planned many months ahead of time)
over one kidnapped IDF SOLDIER captured(still alive) in Lebanon for the purpose of prisoner exchange. This may provide private glee to "Goeringian" orthodox Jewish hardliners in the Knesset, but it just sickens my stomach as a non-Jew and a non-muslim/Arab, non-Lebanese, as well as for the 2,850 and counting dead American soldiers in Iraq--the war planned by the high command in Jerusalem and aggressively and relentlessly promoted by AIPAC(American Israel Public Affairs Committee), one of the two most powerful lobby in the U.S. along with AARP(The Israel Lobby,Walt/Mearsheimer 2006). The open "mystery" that Carter(he is an experienced politician after all) mentioned as to why no American media outlets will discuss the plight of the Palestinians is mostly a testament to the COMPLETE LACK of integrity of the American media, cowered by the powerful influence of AIPAC(in American foreign policy) and other Israel boosters in media. I will acknowlege Washington Post for a column by Richard Cohen in July 18, 2006 "Hunker Down with History" in which he said "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now" No, I do not think Israel should be dragged into the Red Sea. Apparently even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has no problems with indigenous Jews who has lived peacefully throughout the millenia with Arabs. But Israel MUST begin to act like a good neighbor and return the occupied lands it has taken from EVERY SINGLE ONE of it neighbors,(Lebanon--Shebaa Farms, Syria--Golan Heights, Palestine-- well, you see the pattern) and "hunker down with history" and hope that Arabs will forgive them eventually for the "honest mistake".

Posted by: Jacob | December 6, 2006 06:31 PM

The ISG, which I gather can neither be collectively accused of personal incompetence, nor collectively accused of holding some sort of Bias against Israel, much less ridiculus, tired, worn out, thread bare, flea bitten, utterly baseless accusations of anti semitism, has come to pretty much exactly the same conclusion that Jimmy Carter has; that there will never be an end to the war on terrorism or even any decent conclusion to the War in Iraq until Israel is forced to quit the occupation and remove the remaining settlements. This is critical to gaining the support and the renewed perception of integrity that the US needs to gain the support of the other nations in the region who are central to curbing terrorism and unrest.

It is not that this is a novel idea on the part of Mr Carter or the ISG. Recently the UN voted 147 to seven to demand that Isreal remove the settlemts and end the occupation, as they have done on numerous occasions in the past. the 7 countries that were opposed were Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the United States.

That is to say, virtually the majority of the rest of the world agrees with Mr. Carter and the ISG. So does Tony Blair. So do Walt (Dean of the Kennedy school at Harvard)and Mearsheimer. So does Colin Powell. In fact, Keep in mind that when 147 countries agree and 10 abstain at the UN, it means that virtually every single other ally we have in the world, in the middle east and everywhere else, want the settlements gone.

So rip on Mr Carter all you like. That's why he titled his book that way. He looks forward to having all the lame rhetoric that has proped up the morally bankrupt settlements for all these years exposed for what it is; rubbish.

But please, while your at it, start a list of all the people who agree with him (ie the majority of the planet) and try to marginalize all of them as well. But please be thourough and start alphabetically. It's a long list!!


J

Posted by: J | December 6, 2006 07:30 PM

The problem with us Americans is that we do not like to face the truth until it is very very late. Anybody who saw the events leading to the Iraq war and the consequences that followed would see what I mean about this. Many of us have been deceived by our elected leaders and the media that issues like the Palestinian cause is seen from a narrow perspective. For me, the reason why Hillary Clinton will not get my vote if the Democratic Party nominated her to contest for the presidency is because prior to her switching to New York,the hotbed of Jewish voters, to seek the Senatorial seat there, she saw the plight of the Palestinians as something to be empathized with. But since her first election and up until now, that is not even in her radar. So rather than voting for her, I will write in Bill Clinton or George Herbert Bush. I will also not consider McCain if the Republicans elected him as their flagbearer simply because of his unflinching support for GW Bush so that he can court the Christian Conservatives.
Back to the Carter's thesis in the new book. By the way, I already bought the book. President Carter is an honest and courageous man who won Nobel Peace prize for all his good works since he was out of office. He sees injustice stark naked and tells it as it should be told regardless of whose temper is aroused. Then you get people like Pelosi saying that is not the position of the Democratic Party. Who cares what she says about the position of the Party? This is a person who did not even recognize the mood of her colleagues in the House after the last elections when she publicly shopped her support for erratic Murtha against dignified Hoyer for the Majority Leader position. Falsehood may traverse for a thousand years, one day truth will catch up with it. If you doubt this, just ask people like GW Bush about his lies about Iraq. It did not even take 2 years for the lies he told to be exposed.

Posted by: midas20874 | December 6, 2006 07:51 PM

THE CARTER CENTER'S FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF ITS MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM, a respected scholar, has resigned and accused Carter of prevaricating and fabrication in his book.

Here is the letter in full:

-------------------------------------------

Hi--

This note is to inform you that yesterday, I sent letters to President Jimmy Carter, Emory University President Jim Wagner, and Dr. John Hardman, Executive Director of the Carter Center resigning my position, effectively immediately, as Middle East Fellow of the Carter Center of Emory University. This ends my 23 year association with an institution that in some small way I helped shape and develop.

My joint academic position in Emory College in the History and Political Science Departments, and, as Director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel remains unchanged.

Many still believe that I have an active association with the Center and, act as an adviser to President Carter, neither is the case. President Carter has intermittently continued to come to the Arab-Israeli Conflict class I teach in Emory College. He gives undergraduate students a fine first hand recollection of the Begin-Sadat negotiations of the late 1970s. Since I left the Center physically thirteen years ago, the Middle East program of the Center has waned as has my status as a Carter Center Fellow. For the record, I had nothing to do with the research, preparation, writing, or review of President Carter's recent publication. Any material which he used from the book we did together in 1984, The Blood of Abraham, he used unilaterally. President Carter's book on the Middle East, a title too inflammatory to even print, is not based on unvarnished analyses; it is replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Having little access to Arabic and Hebrew sources, I believe, clearly handicapped his understanding and analyses of how history has unfolded over the last decade. Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and for policy-making. The history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary. In due course, I shall detail these points and reflect on their origins.

The decade I spent at the Carter Center (1983-1993) as the first permanent Executive Director and as the first Fellow were intellectually enriching for Emory as an institution, the general public, the interns who learned with us, and for me professionally. Setting standards for rigorous interchange and careful analyses spilled out to the other programs that shaped the Center's early years. There was mutual respect for all views; we carefully avoided polemics or special pleading. This book does not hold to those standards. My continued association with the Center leaves the impression that I am sanctioning a series of egregious errors and polemical conclusions which appeared in President Carter's book. I can not allow that impression to stand.

Through Emory College, I have continued my professional commitment to inform students and the general public about the history and politics of Israel, the Middle East, and American policies toward the region. I have tried to remain true to a life-time devotion to scholarly excellence based upon unvarnished analyses and intellectual integrity. I hold fast to the notion that academic settings and those in positions of influence must teach and not preach. Through Emory College, in public lectures, and in OP/ED writings, I have adhered to the strong belief that history must be presented in context, and understood the way it was, not the way we wish it to be.

In closing, let me thank you for your friendship, past and continuing support for ISMI, and to Emory College. Let me also wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season, and a healthy and productive new year.

As ever,

Ken

------------------------------------------

News of this resignation has been all over the blogs. TNR and The Atlanta Journal Constitution both printed it.

It needs to part of the debate.


Posted by: david | December 6, 2006 08:03 PM

This letter by a now ex-one-time-executive director of the Carter Center sounds like an attempt to cover one's professional arse. "My continued association with the Center leaves the impression that I am sanctioning a series of egregious errors and polemical conclusions which appeared in President Carter's book. I can not allow that impression to stand."

I am personally glad that he is gone from the Carter Center seeing how EVERY university, think tank (once respected Brookings Institute's Saban Center) has been robbed of its objectivity by centers created and funded to represent only Israel-centric view point.

Posted by: Jacob | December 6, 2006 08:35 PM

"This letter by a now ex-one-time-executive director of the Carter Center sounds like an attempt to cover one's professional arse."

Jacob, he didn't write the book, and Carter said that he was the greatest teacher of the Middle East the Center ever had. He was one of the founders who hadn't been active for a long time.

So, there's no substance to your point that he quit to save face.

Anyway, this news is over seven hours old and was printed in detail in the Atlanta Journal constitution, a publication referenced on this blog.

http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/stories/2006/12/06/1206natcarter.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13

Also, if you type in "Carter" on Google News or Yahoo News, it's the first thing that comes up.

I don't see how Jefferson could have missed it.

Posted by: David | December 6, 2006 08:47 PM

A couple of questions for that neither Carter or the Pro `Palestinians' on this board will EVER answer:

1) If the 800,000+ Jews ethnically cleansed from the Arab world can't go home or recieve compensation for their lost homes, why should the `Palestinians' be entitled to claims or a right of return from Israel?

2) Why all the hatred and calls for concessions for Israel, the only country that has ever given the Palestinians so much as a square dunam of land to call their own, and no hatred for countries like
Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait, all of whom have killed/driven out more Palestinians than Israel ever did since 1948? Couldn't be because there are Jews in Israel, now could it?

3) If Israel is `an apartheid state' why are there Arab MK's, policemen, businesspeople, teachers journalists, even IDF members? Why are the Arabs allowed to vote, own property and have full equality under the law?

4)If Israel `ethnically cleansed the Arabs'
in 1948 , why did they leave over 100,000 of them in Israel...as opposed to the Arabs, who killed or drove out every Jew they could find in the areas they ended up controlling?

5) Which state is more racially diverse, israel or it's Arab neighbors? Any place else in the Middle East that Arabs and Jews live in relative equality in the region?


- (It's called jealousy, envy and hatred...just to clue you in)

Posted by: JoshuaPundit | December 6, 2006 09:03 PM

In my lifetime, the Israeli (Jew) has turned on nearly every nation or institution that nurtured or at worst tolerated them. My list-

Germany, Russia, The United Nations, the Democratic Party, Britain, Argentina, Iraq. Is the US next?

The Iraq Panel has suggested that Palestinian Right of Return should be accepted by Israel and already the Israelis are outraged. But don't you remember the silly claims that, "Arafat was offered everything Palestinians wanted (including Right of Return) but still he refused", so giving up RoR should not be a problem for Israelis now.

Monte Haun

Posted by: Monte Haun | December 6, 2006 09:09 PM

Been following this story for a few days. (Wonder when the NY Times is going to say something.) Question to think about- Israel is constantly referred to as an ally of the US. Does the US have a formal defense treaty with Israel? Do Israel and the US have any formal, senate ratified agreements? The senate regularly approves foreign aid and military sales to Israel but as far as I know there is nothing in the way of a formal agreement where Israel and the US commit anything to each other. I think Israel would feel a lot more secure if the US made a formal defense commitment, but that would probably mean that the "disputed territories" question would first have to be resolved.

Posted by: martin g. | December 6, 2006 09:17 PM

Martin:

Not sure what your point is.

Monte:

Your nasty statement about Jews doesn't add anything to the discussion.

The topic here is Carter's book and the assertions within.

I posted a link to the scholar who founded Carter's middle east institute. Said scholar accused Carter of fabrication.

Noone, including Carter himself, has offered a substantive rebutle.

Perhaps you can...

Posted by: David | December 6, 2006 09:34 PM

I read some excerpts from the book. It seems like half the book is Carter trying to brag/defend his "legacy" and make himself look like the savior of the Jewish people or something like that. The other half is blame/hatred of Israeli people and Isreal. But what else would you expect from a self-righteous tool like Carter?

Posted by: angry | December 6, 2006 10:11 PM

This should help clear up any confusion regarding the critcism Mr. Carter has recieved from someone who has not been actively involved in the Carter Center for more than 12 years and whom Carter has had disagreements with on a regular Basis.

It simply goes to show that Carter is not afraid to dialog with those who don't necessarily share his exact views. To suggest that this is some real blow to Carters credibility rather than part of a concerted attack by the Israel Lobby, is ridiculus.

I wonder what Mr. Stein thinks about the major thesis of the book, that the settlements should be turned over to the Palestinians and the occupation ended. He did not seem to refer to that at all, but rather, he used the Lobbys favorite tactic, to argue about every minor detail in the room in a desperate attempt to draw attention away from the 800 pound gorilla sitting right in the middle of it.

Predictable, Tired, Thread bare, baseless and shameless accusations of anti semitism and/or incompetence. The Lobby M.O.

I wonder how they will try to apply this tired tactic to the entire Iraq Study Group, who have essentially come to the exact same conclusion as Mr. Carter.

Heres the article:

"Carter released a statement saying that Stein had not been actively involved with the center for more than 12 years and that he regretted Stein's resignation. Carter said Stein was not involved with his new book.

"If Ken has read my latest book he knows that, as the book's title makes clear, 'Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid' is devoted to circumstances and events in Palestine and not in Israel, where democracy prevails and citizens live together and are legally guaranteed equal status," Carter said in the statement.

The former president praised Stein as "one of the finest teachers I have ever known," a Middle East adviser and a friend.

"I thank him for this, and wish him well," Carter's letter said.

It's not the first time Carter and Stein have disagreed over Middle East policy, said Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Tulane University and the author of the 1988 Carter biography, "The Unfinished Presidency."

"They've never been on the same page in the Middle East. They've been in an almost constant state of disagreement. Carter has used him as a sounding board but apparently Carter went too far and the sparring partner decided to bloody him up," Brinkley said. "Ken Stein ... doesn't trust the Palestinians as much as Carter."

Brinkley said he has read Carter's new book but could not address Stein's accusations.

"It's packaged with previous Carter writings and ideas coralled together and presented as new. Some of the things in the book Carter has been saying for a long time," he said."

J

Posted by: J | December 6, 2006 10:45 PM

"Carters credibility rather than part of a concerted attack by the Israel Lobby, is ridiculous."

J, tThere is no evidence that Stein is part of a concerted attack by a so-called Lobby.

In the letter, Stein said that he hadn't been active in the center and he had nothing to do with the book. Carter was just reiterating those facts. He did not offer a substantive rebutle to any of Stein's accusations, specifically where Stein accused Carter of making up conversations that never happened - conversations Stein attended.

Being that Stein was one of the founders of the Carter Center,and that Carter had nothing but good things to say about his scholarship, AND that Stein traveled to the middle east more than once with Carter, your assertion that he's part of a Lobby seems strange. Why would Carter attend his lectures and laud his scholarship if he was simply a member of some lobby? I confess I don't understand your logic.

Stein has written one of the most respected books out there on demographics in Palestine. Perhaps you know of some scholarship, or you have done independent research you've done, that calls his work and reputation into.

I'd be very interested for you to share it with us if you did.

Thanks.

Posted by: David | December 6, 2006 11:21 PM

J:

Do you mind if I ask what your background is? You seem to hang out here and post quite a bit.

It's odd.

Posted by: David | December 6, 2006 11:26 PM

President Carter is one of most decent and honorable man to ever hold the presidency. He is respected wordwide and has won the Nobel Peace prize. He truly embodies what is great about this country. If Carter was in office today, we would not be stuck in Iraq, with nearly 3,000 Americans dead and 18,000 wounded.

Carter has pointed out the truth in his new book that Israel has created an Apartheid system in the occupied territory and has been brutalizing a captive Palestinian population. Carter also said the Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians are debated all over the world except in the US. Why?

Most people know the answer but are afraid to speak out for fear of being labeled an anti-semite. The fact is that Jewish Americans who constitute less than two percent (actually 1.7%) of the population own or control most major newspapers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, US News, NY Post, Washington Post, Boston Globe and many others), TV networks and other media assets. To say that Jewish Americans either own or control the US media is not anti-semitic but just an observation of fact. Because of their total control of our media, the mis-treatment of the Palestinians are not broadcast. Journalists are afraid that their career will suffer if they air the Palestinians' suffering. So America continues to hear the Israeli propaganda, sends billions of dollars to Israel every year, which allows Israel to brutalize and occupy Palestinian lands, which gets the Moslems mad, and which causes Bin Laden and other terrorists to attack us.

Posted by: William | December 6, 2006 11:31 PM

Israel Lobby pushed America into this disaster in Iraq only for the benefit of Israel. People like Richard Perle, Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Ken Adelman, Bill Kristol and other Israeli media surrogates appeared on every evening to brainwash Americans into supporting this war.

Today the same Israeli agents are attacking Jimmy Carter for his new book. Their attack on one of America's greatest man is an outrage.

The only way we can reduce terrorism is to force Israel to withdraw from occupied land, and also to identify these surrogates who are eager to sacrifice American blood and treasure for Israel.

When have Wolfowitz, Perle and Kristol fought for America?

Posted by: Jim | December 6, 2006 11:42 PM

How long will America be fooled by pro-Israel propaganda? It is time for Americans to speak up and demand action from their representatives. It is estimated that major political parties get more tha 60% of campaign donations from Jewish groups, which is why they never criticize Israel's occupation. Now Carter's book raises important issues, but the pro-Israel groups cannot tolerate any criticism.

Posted by: Larry | December 6, 2006 11:51 PM

"Ken Stein ... doesn't trust the Palestinians as much as Carter." This qualifies as the understatement of the week (and its only Wednesday!). I'm not sure any American trusts the Palestinians as much as Carter.

"I wonder how they will try to apply this tired tactic to the entire Iraq Study Group, who have essentially come to the exact same conclusion as Mr. Carter" To say that a small part of 3 of 79 recommendations suggested by the ISG means that it has reached the same conclusion and has the same approach as Carter is simply not true. The major thesis of the ISG is NOT that the settlements should be turned over to the Palestinians and the occupation ended. There is more (a lot more) in the ISG as well as UN resolutions 242/338 than just Israel simply giving up the settlements.

Posted by: Dave! | December 6, 2006 11:56 PM

You write: "Entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," Carter's book has won him praise in the international online media and scathing criticism from U.S.-based Israel supporters."

To be honest, it always amazes me that with the means of communication currently at their disposal, so many Americans be unaware and unconcerned that their views be so remote from what the international community knows to be true. But how could it be otherwise, given that, as you point out here, "a passionate defense of Palestinian aspirations (is) rarely heard in the U.S. media and unprecedented from someone who once occupied the Oval Office"?

Surely, it would seem appropriate, nonetheless, before embarking on the usual rhetoric, insults and well-worn unfounded statements, to take a close look at the valuable documentation the United Nations have produced for more than half a century, on this subject, as well as to inquire what the views of prominent human models like Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela are based on.

Personally, if I may be allowed to add my voice to theirs, I share the views of UN high commissioner for human rights former Canada's Supreme Court Chief Justice Louise Arbour, recently stoned by an Israeli mob, in Sderot, Israel, after daring to state: "Israel has responsibility for its citizens by legal means, in respect of international law, including international humanitarian law... It has to look for support and partnership to build an atmosphere where peace would be sustainable. I think other measures are very short term." (Mehdi Lebouachera Tue Nov 21, news.yahoo.com) It is my view that the above statement by Ms Arbour needs be repeated, time and again, until it be heard, fully understood, and finally complied with.

Posted by: Robert Rose, Canada | December 7, 2006 12:11 AM

William
"America continues to hear the Israeli propaganda, sends billions of dollars to Israel every year, which allows Israel to brutalize and occupy Palestinian lands, which gets the Moslems mad, and which causes Bin Laden and other terrorists to attack us." al-Qaeda was not formed because of the Israeli-Paletinian problem. It was formed because Saudi Arabia allowed the US to have and use a base during the first Gulf War on what Bin Ladin and others consider holy land.

"Because of their total control of our media, the mis-treatment of the Palestinians are not broadcast. Journalists are afraid that their career will suffer if they air the Palestinians' suffering." Please point out any example of this actually happening. Perhaps, the Palestinians don't get as much air time as you might like because they are just one of many groups in the world suffering.

Posted by: Dave! | December 7, 2006 12:13 AM

Robert Rose
While Chief Justice Louise Arbour's car was stoned in Sderot, Israel, it was not for what she said. Those words came after in discussions with reporters in Sderot. By her own words (on CBC Radio), she had gone in her group in a UN vehicle to the site of a Palestinian rocket attack, talked to a few people but then was forced to leave for fear that there might be a gas explosion, and as they were leaving, the UN car was pelted with a few rocks. There is quite a difference in a woman getting stoned for something she said vs. a UN vehicle getting stoned by people at an extreamly emotional time who might feel the UN might not be looking out for their best interest.

Posted by: Dave! | December 7, 2006 12:52 AM

I do not know whether "journalists who wish to air the Palestinians' suffering fear for their career." What I do know is that they do fear for their lives. Examples come from Reporters without Borders (RWB) -- in parts my translation from the French:

"RWB calls for military police investigation into death of British documentary filmmaker.

Country/Topic: Israël/Palestine
Date: 18 June 2003
Source: Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Person(s): James Miller
Target(s): journalist(s)
Type(s) of violation(s): killed
Urgency: Bulletin

James Miller, killed May 2, 2003, in Rafah (south of the Gaza strip) (RSF/IFEX)--

Miller, 34, married and father of two, was killed on may 2, after 16 days spent in the Gaza strip. He was working on a documentary for the Home Box Office, concerning the impact of the conflict on Palestinian children and other refugees in the camp of Rafah.

He is the second journalist killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of 2003 and the fifth since the beginning of the second Intifada, in September 2000.

Miller's team members and two Palestinian assistants have stated witnessing Miller being shot by an Israeli soldier. Two video recordings support their assertions... deadly fire came from a soldier positioned on an Israeli tank... while houses were being demolished... Journalists waved a white flag and wore bulletproof jackets on which one could read "PRESS", so as to be seen by Israeli troops... On May 8, an autopsy at the Israeli National Medico-Legal Institute established that it was an Israeli type bullet that had killed the journalist, as he was facing the soldier." (www.ifex.org/alerts)

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 7, 2006 01:31 AM

David,

You asked;

"J:

Do you mind if I ask what your background is? You seem to hang out here and post quite a bit.

It's odd."

Sure, David.

Starting with my name, address, and S.S. #,
followed by my resume and a personal life histo..... Wait.

Your "odd" for asking such a stupid question in some sophmoric attempt to marginalize a voice that is able to back up a political world view that you object to with real facts, as opposed to inuendo, subterfuge and baseless character assasination.

Consider me an "interested party", a description that should apply to all Americans.

You might also delve back into the past posts here to find out more about me, where you will also discover that there are numerous people who have posted regularly here for years, and of course many people who post regulary, but constantly change their monikers. You will also see others, much like yourself, who have used exactly the same ridiculus tactic that you just employed to try to discourage further postings or marginalize opposing voices by insinuating that posting here "Too Much" is somehow less than honorable or "odd".

But wait.. you must have already done that, unless your really just as "odd" as I am, but too cowardly to continue to use the same moniker...

Nice try.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 01:34 AM

Jimmy Carter tells the truth about Palestine in "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid." In fact, in Gaza Israel is practicing a slow form of genocide where the people are sealed off from the world and encounter non-stop military attacks. But Carter skirts the Israeli issue.

Sure, the Arab Israelis can vote but they do not have full rights as citizens - or human rights for that matter. In January, for example, Shimon Peres requested the ethnic cleansing of over 40,000 Arab Israelis, the Knesset voted and shortly thereafter the bulldozers arrived. The purpose - to clear out the people to put up luxury condos for Jews-only.

And this summer before the war on Lebanon, Jews were fighting Jews in riots. The White Ashkenazi Jews didn't want the Middle Eastern Jews driving on their streets or walking on their sidewalks. Why? Because they are supposedly religiously inferior!

If you want the facts - read the Israeli papers as I do. Israel is an extremely racist country as anyone who lives there, or has spent time there knows. Whether or not they admit it is another story.

G C Fraser

Posted by: G C Fraser | December 7, 2006 01:39 AM

You have got to love these quotes:

Dershowitz...

"It's obvious that Mr. Carter just doesn't like Israel or Israelis."

and

Writing in the New Republic magazine, former publisher Marty Peretz declared Carter "will go down in history ...as a Jew hater."

This is mindset ...

We are above criticism ..everything we do is wonderful and if you dare criticise us YOU are at fault.


Keep up the good work Mr Carter...the world needs more people like you and less of the lowlifes who act as apologists for the murderous state of israel.

Straw poll - who do most of you think dershowitz would support in a U.S. v israel conflict?

Posted by: Angus | December 7, 2006 01:42 AM

J:

"Your "odd" for asking such a stupid question in some sophmoric attempt to marginalize a voice that is able to back up a political world view that you object to with real facts, as opposed to inuendo, subterfuge and baseless character assasination."

J...why so nasty? What's so odd and stupid about being curious as to whom you're speaking with? I simply asked to find out more about you because you post so much and I thought it was strange that you had all that time, unless you were Jefferson Morley himself, which is who I thought you might be.

If you asked more about me, I'd tell you. I try to treat people on these boards the same that I would if I was speaking to them in person. It's much more intellectually engaging that way, and makes for more honest debate. Everyone knows who Jefferson is. Why should we hide when he can't?

I was just attempting to get a feel for who you are and what your qualifications are. Sorry I angered you so and if I came across as insulting, I apologize sincerely.

As far as saying I'm attempting to marginalize you, etc., I'm not sure what you mean. I don't mean to marginalize anyone. I simply posted some information about the man who founded the center with Carter and asked you to post links that back up your claim that he is part of a Lobby. I then asked you to post some information discrediting his status as a leading scholar and challenging his book, which is one of the leading works on Palestine's history.

Have you read the work? Did you check out the link I provided that praised its balance and insight? Do you have recordings of his meetings that he claims Carter lied about, so you can give another perspective that Carter has not given in response to Stein's accusations? There is now talk of a lawsuit for plagiarism against Carter. Do you have any information about it?

I'm asking sincerely so that you can bring something to the table and we can learn from each other.

What do ya got for me?

Posted by: David | December 7, 2006 02:11 AM

David,

I am Yasser Arafat.... no scratch that, he's dead.

I'm Bill Clinton...,

no I'm a salt of the earth factory worker from Michigan just sharin my views, man....

No! I'm Golda Mier!! damn... dead too.

no, hang on I'm.....

The point is David, that you or anyone else would be nuts to reveal personal information on an open internet forum such as this. Furthermore, there is absolutely no way of verifying the veracity of any "background" that you or I might offer. It's pointless.

Rather, this is a forum of facts, opinion and Ideas. Let them speak for themselves, and weigh them based on their merits alone, so that preconceptions and prejudices do not color your understanding of the facts (or lack thereof) presented.

If it makes you feel better about my posts, pick one of the personalites listed above and pretend that I am them. Although I can tell you that I am not Jefferson.

regarding your question,

I have not read the work of the man who critized Carter, which from your description, sounds only vaugely related to the moral and strategic bankruptcy of the settlements. But I would bet that James Baker has not read his work either, and he agrees with Carter. Do you feel that his credibility is somehow stained as a result? Baker urged Bush I to cut off all funding to Israel until the settlement movement was ended and the occupation withdrawn. Bush I tried, but caved to AIPAC pressure. Very unfortunate, as this might have prevented the much of the terrorist recruiting and funding that led to 9/11.

Keep in mind that the settlements have been condemned by the Israeli people themselves, who voted in the Kadima Party for the express purpose of removing most of the settlements and ending the occupation, which they recognize as a pointless wieght around the neck of the Nation, and, in the minds of many Israelis, just morally wrong.

If you read Israeli sources, you will understand this clearly. They have much more vehement and detailed discussions about all of this than anything that occurs in most American news sources, some of which makes Carters book look tame in comparison.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 04:04 AM

The basic flaw with the Israel/Palestine dispute as the "root cause" of all misery, as advanced by Carter, is that it is so easily and demonstrably disproved.

Remove Israel. Close it down Take the 6 million Israeli Jews and move them to Antarctica or the Moon.

What do you get?
After 3 months of dancing in the streets, you still have 22 kleptocratic backward dictatorships, 22 failed states with a collective GDP less than Spain's, an entire region and people who don't produce a world class toothpick, an economic system based upon 12th century feudalism, subjugated women, a violent religious model, poverty, disease and backwardness.

If the Jews had ended up with the present rump West Bank and Gaza in 1948 or even 1967, they'd have turned it into Hong Kong.

The issue is not the Israelis


Posted by: Steve Jones | December 7, 2006 08:30 AM

As soon as people began interjecting comments such as "Jew haters" and anti-semitic, the poignant and intelligent side of this debate took a nasty turn. Maybe it's time to examine our words and temper our speech to be taken seriously, as those just slinging around insults and not backing up their arguments just come off sounding stupid in the end. Also I noticed some discrimination against "hillbillies" and what they would believe on the topic. Get real! You lambast people for their prejudice and then go ahead and do it yourself against other groups.

I do find it interesting (to get to the point) that despite what the author of the article says, there seems to be much debate on the topic of Palestinian-Arab conflict in this country, however it is probably not brought to air often enough because of the type of behavior we've seen in this blog to try to squelch it with hateful rhetoric and un-intelligent nonsense.

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 09:44 AM

The palestinians are mere pawns in the arab and muslim world to cover for every failure of their countries to advance into the modern civilized world. Much easier to blame Israel and focus your population'S anger there than to address the failure of those countries. I always am repulsed by those who attack a democracy and make excuses for bloody dictatorships.

Posted by: pATRICK | December 7, 2006 10:14 AM

STEVE, yours was the best post on this whole blog. Congratulations!

Posted by: TO STEVE | December 7, 2006 10:49 AM

Personally, I think in America there is too much MISINFORMATION in the media (ie cultural and historical misunderstandings) as well as DISINFORMATION in the media (ie deliberate misleading and biased information). These two combine to create the mess we see in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Posted by: Mike | December 7, 2006 11:48 AM

J:

Answer the question! Are you Jefferson Morley? Speak up.

Posted by: MorleyWatch | December 7, 2006 11:52 AM

"Remove Israel. Close it down Take the 6 million Israeli Jews and move them to Antarctica or the Moon. What do you get?"--

You get the US without its right arm (its proxy) to bully, to threaten, to strike militarily and to impose its rule in the Middle-East. Same if you remove US supported dictators all over South and Latin America. Same... (enough said).

Seems to me the issues, part of the most pressing geopolitical problems, are indeed very much the US proxies throughout the world.

What the world needs, what the international community needs, what WE need, is peaceful coexistence based on justice for all. More than that, we need international respect and cooperation amongst nations. So that every nation develops fully, instead of being strangled for ideological reasons as was and still is Cuba, for instance, the intent being to set examples that nothing can work except under US rule.

To label those major human needs as "naive", "idealistic", "stupid", "idiotic" and the like, will never make them disappear. On the contrary, day after day, their denial only makes them all the more acute and in urgent need of being met... unless ones prefers, of course, hegemony, perpetual conflict and war, worlwide, all by no means inevitable but the results of our collective choices.

Unfortunately, it is no irony to say that hegemony, perpetual conflict and war are the only ways too many of us seem to know, when it comes to adding some zest to their miserable lives. Suffice to observe all this constant, sickly, glorification of violence on the Web, including amongst bloggers, almost on any issue.

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 7, 2006 12:04 PM

The UN voted that tyhe final land determination would come
only after an Israel,Palestinian agreement on the topic. Israel therefore is in compliance with International Law

Posted by: bob fisher | December 7, 2006 12:14 PM

Finally a person acknowledges that there are two sides to this issue. Its a shame no politician can write or say the same things without being called anti-semitic. Can we not even question Israel about anything.

Posted by: Tom | December 7, 2006 12:20 PM

J,

You said:

"I do find it interesting (to get to the point) that despite what the author of the article says, there seems to be much debate on the topic of Palestinian-Arab conflict in this country, however it is probably not brought to air often enough because of the type of behavior we've seen in this blog to try to squelch it with hateful rhetoric and un-intelligent nonsense."

I also happen to use the same Moniker (J),

But well said.


Steve,


You said:

"The basic flaw with the Israel/Palestine dispute as the "root cause" of all misery, as advanced by Carter, is that it is so easily and demonstrably disproved."

Mr. Carter, nor any other reasonable person that I can think of, has suggested that Israels existance is the root cause of all of all misery, or all or even most of the problems in the Middle East. In fact at no time in Mr. Carters writings has he called into question Israels "existance" on any level. If you had actually read this or any of his other books, you would know that.

Its very easy to set up a "Straw Man" arguement that you can easily then knock down, while ascribing your faulty logic and misrepresentations to Mr. Carter or others who seek the end of the settlements and occupation.

Why not join the actual discussion and debate the degree to which the settlements and occupation have inspired very avoidable terror agasint Israel and eventually the US? If you don't think that they are a complete liability, then you disagree with not only Mr. Carter, but a majority of Israelis and in fact and majority of the World, much less Tony Blair, The ISG, Walt and Mearsheimer, Bill Clinton and many, many others.

In fact it is the opinion of the Kadima Party in Israel that the occupation and at least in large part the settlements should go. Thats why they removed all settlements in the Gaza, and thats why they are still to this day coming to grips with the reality that most, if not all, of the settlements in the WB and EJ are going to have to go. Olmert insinuated only a week ago that he might be willing to move in that direction in a bid for peace.

This is precisely what Mr. Carter is asserting and for precisely the same reasons.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 12:38 PM

The use of the analogy of 'apartheid' does have a resonance in Israel.

The apartheid system in South Africa was not only about racism but also encompassed the land issue. Blacks were segregated to live in 'Bantustans' or homelands. These homelands were disjointed pieces of territory with borders separating them from the rest of 'white' South Africa. The most infamous of these was the 'independent state' of Bophuthatswana. In effect whites were acquiring land for themselves. This policy also contributed to some black South Africans who were allowed to live in 'white' South Africa in segregated towns while other black South Africans were required to live in these 'independent states' in which they had to apply for citizenship.

The usage of apartheid by Carter to imply land segregation and acquisition as practiced in South Africa's applies to the current policies in the West Bank.

Posted by: Dimitri | December 7, 2006 12:43 PM

J, you said:

"You or anyone else would be nuts to reveal personal information on an open internet forum such as this."

Not really. If you were a MESA fellow, or an assitant professor in Columbia's MES department, you could easily leave a link to your blog or stuff you've written, and the knowledge that you share on here would reflect your experience so that we could at least trust you were a reliable, distinguished source of information could teach us something.

"Rather, this is a forum of facts, opinion and Ideas. Let them speak for themselves, and weigh them based on their merits alone, so that preconceptions and prejudices do not color your understanding of the facts (or lack thereof) presented."

Good advice all around.

"If it makes you feel better about my posts, pick one of the personalites listed above and pretend that I am them."

Not necessary. I don't really have much feeling about your posts one way or the other. I'm just trying to have a civilized debate with you.

"I have not read the work of the man who critized Carter."

Ok. So I fail to see how you can dismiss him outright.

"I would bet that James Baker has not read his work...Do you feel that his credibility is somehow stained as a result?"

J...I'm not sure what your point is, here. I posted a link to a news source about Kenneth Stein, with a letter he wrote to Carter. You immediately said he had no credibility because he's merely part of a Lobby. James Baker has nothing to do with it.

Your quote is as follows:

"To suggest that this is some real blow to Carters credibility rather than part of a concerted attack by the Israel Lobby, is ridiculus."

Now, you also said (to reiterate):

"this is a forum of facts, opinion and Ideas. Let them speak for themselves, and weigh them based on their merits alone"

That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm weighing your opinions based on their merits or lack thereof. That's what this comment section is for. And so far, all you've done is shoveled contempt and hostility my way, rather than address my points.

My question about your familiarity with Stein's work and the books he has written is perfectly logical, given your attack on him. I thought, that based on what you said, you knew about his work and his reputation.

Here is some information about Stein from various news sources and his web page:

"In 1985, he wrote a book with Mr. Carter, "The Blood of Abraham: Insights in the Middle East," which was published by Houghton-Mifflin...Mr. Stein was executive director of the Carter Center from 1983 to 1986 and had continued to serve as a Middle East fellow until Tuesday.

Mr. Stein said the former president had come to speak to his class as recently as last month...

At Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Kenneth W. Stein is the William E. Schatten Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History, Political Science and Israeli Studies. He is the author of four books, almost a dozen book chapters, encyclopedia entries, dozens of scholarly articles, and literally hundreds of newspaper contributions.

Among his publications are Hebrew and English editions of Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace (Routledge:1999); Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience, United States Institute for Peace:1991), and The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939, (North Carolina Press: 1984, 1985, and 2003). His most recent journal articles include "Israel's Disengagement from the Gaza Strip: Precedents, Motivations, and Outcomes, " La Communita Internationale (Rome), Vol 4/2005 and "Lieber klein aber dafur jüdisch, Der Abzug der Israelis aus Gaza ist ganz im Sinne des Zionismus" (Better Small Yet Jewish, Israel's Withdrawal from Gaza is in Keeping with Zionism), International Politik (Berlin), November 2005.

From 1996 through 1999, he wrote the chapter on the "Arab-Israeli Peace Process" in Middle East Contemporary Survey (Westview Press), and entries for Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia on the "PLO," "1948 Israeli Independence War," "June 1967 War," "1973 October
War," "Hamas," and "Intifadah."
Since coming to Emory in 1977, he founded and developed the International Studies Center, was the first director of the Carter Center (1983-1986), established the Middle East Research Program (1992) and the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel (1997)."

You have offered nothing here to support your contention that Stein's opinion is irrelevant and should be dismissed.

"James Baker...he agrees with Carter."

I have scored the news looking for quotes to back your assertion that James Baker agrees with Carter.

First of all, I don't know how that's relevant to your attacking Stein's credibility, and second of all, their are no quotes about Baker agreeing with Carter, because he hasn't said anything about it one way or the other.

"Baker urged Bush I to cut off all funding to Israel until the settlement movement was ended and the occupation withdrawn. Bush I tried, but caved to AIPAC pressure."

Here is a list of quotes - from press conferences - with Baker and Bush on record saying they are opposed to the settlements.

"http://www.fmep.org/analysis/articles/statements_on_american_policy_toward_settlements_by_us_government_officials.html"


And here is a quote from Encyclopedia Americana that says:

http://ap.grolier.com/article?assetid=0068080-00

"Bush declined to support $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel unless Israel halted settlements in its occupied territories. When Yitzak Rabin succeeded Yitzak Shamir in 1992, the new Israeli government suspended construction and financing of most new settlements; soon thereafter Bush and Rabin came to an agreement on the loans."

Here is another quote from Jpost article, that says that despite Baker's hard-headed approach, Israelis really shouldn't fear him because he generally supports the Jewish State-

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1162378452559&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull:

"In 1989, Baker also stunned many by telling an AIPAC conference that "now is the time to lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel. Israeli interests in the West Bank and Gaza, security and otherwise, can be accommodated in a settlement based on [UN Security Council] Resolution 242. Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity; allow schools to reopen; reach out to the Palestinian as neighbors who deserve political rights." Then there was his disparaging remark in Congress in 1990, when he said that when the Israelis were serious about peace, they should call the White House. "The telephone number," he said, "is 1-202-456-1414."

I don't see any information in that article or anywhere else about cutting off all aid to Israel. Nor do I see the portrait of a man who is cowed and prevented from doing so because of AIPAC. I see a person who confronted AIPAC at a speech and a president who made loans conditional on settlement activity being stopped.

Personally, I think many supporters of Israel are misplaced in their fear of Baker, as are many opponents of Israel who see Baker as their savior. I'll never forget when Baker cried on Charlie Rose after Yitzhak Rabin's assassination (that moment is mentioned in the article above). That is hardly the action of a man who is against Israel and hates the Jews.

"Very unfortunate, as this might have prevented the much of the terrorist recruiting and funding that led to 9/11."

Perhaps cutting off all funding might have stopped some recruiting, but that's merely speculative. Anyway, so far you haven't given any evidence that Bush and Baker tried to cut off all funding, so the point is irrelevant.

"If you read Israeli sources, you will understand this clearly."

I do read Israeli sources. Most of the major papers (when I have time), some great blogs. I also have friends and family there. I'm returning in a couple of months.

"They have much more vehement and detailed discussions about all of this than anything that occurs in most American news sources, some of which makes Carters book look tame in comparison."

Well, Israeli news is, um Israeli news. It would make sense that the intensity and frequency of discussion about their own country would be turned up, being that it's, well, their own country.

As far as discussion about Israel in the American press, it gets far more coverage than other nations. Tony Judt recently had an op-ed in support of the Lobby Paper in the NY Times. Mersheimer recently debated Dennis Ross in NYC (it's online, you can see it). Rashid Kalidi is a frequent guest on Charlie Rose. Jimmy Carter recently wrote a piece that was featured in Time Magazine. The New York Times recently featured a report on the Israeli Lobby, with Steven Erlanger quoting from Stephen Walt. Hamas spokesmen have had editorials featured in this paper that Jefferson has cited.

In the American Jewish community, the Forward is a leftist publication that sometimes features Jewish anti-Zionists. Within my own synagogue in NYC, there is rigourous debate about Israeli policy. Jewish writers for Salon tend to be left and/or anti-Zionist.

So, while debate about Israel isn't as intense with Jews in the diaspora as those in Israel, it's much more varied and self crtical than discourse about the conflict in the Palestinian American community and Arab American community.

It's also much more honest and self-critical than anything you've written on here on these message boards.

Posted by: davesax | December 7, 2006 12:52 PM

Robert Rose is one of those enjoying the freedom that the US guarantees yet he sympathizes with police states like Cuba and probably that poor picked on nation North Korea. This is precisely the type of person I mentioned in my previous post. What naive people like Robert forget is that they and probably their families would probably be in jail or executed if they criticized those governments publicly like he does the US in this forum

Posted by: pATRICK | December 7, 2006 12:54 PM

And J:

Yes, I have posted on this forum before. Under davesax. I posted this time as David simply because I realized that there's nothing to fear in using my real first name as a moniker.

If posting as davesax, though, makes you feel I'm less "cowardly", I'm happy to do so, though I'd rather just stick with my real first name and not hide behind some internet identity.

Posted by: David | December 7, 2006 12:59 PM

And J:

Yes, I have posted on this forum before. Under davesax. I posted this time as David simply because I realized that there's nothing to fear in using my real first name as a moniker.

If posting as davesax, though, makes you feel I'm less "cowardly", I'm happy to do so, though I'd rather just stick with my real first name and not hide behind some internet identity.

Posted by: David | December 7, 2006 12:59 PM

MorleyWatch,

You said:

"J:

Answer the question! Are you Jefferson Morley? Speak up.".


I think you have to seriously consider the possibility that we all may be Jefferson Morley.......no wait, thats really paranoid and just doesn't make sense.

Get over it. I'm not Jefferson Morley.

I am just an American, who can read, who does not rely solely on fox news for my world views, who is extremely unsatisfied with the handling of post 9/11 US foreign policy, and the events and that have shaped it.

Maybe Jefferson will chime in and explain to you that I am not him, although that might really just be me, J, trying to mess with your head! (but if you go back and read my posts, you'll see I am not about that sort of thing).

Stick to the ideas and and facts, and defend or attack them on their merits, and forget the personalities. That is exactly what these forums are about.

If you just can't live without a charactor to assasinate, though, you can pretend I'm Bill Clinton, Or Golda Mier, or whatever works for you and have at it! But then please get back to the facts and Ideas when your done.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 01:01 PM

Jews comprise 35% of the population of Mandatory Palestine, but have (under the "1967 borders") only 12.5%. Arabs already have one state on 75% of Palestine, and now are to receive half of the remaining 25%. In effect, 65% of the population gets 87.5% of the land, while the 35% Jewish population is segregated onto a "Bantustan" of only 12.5%. That's the real racism and the real apartheid.

Posted by: amc | December 7, 2006 01:06 PM

Here's some more fun statistics you may like (or may not like, depending on your viewpoints). Of all the non-Turkish land that made up the Ottoman Empire, Arabs made up approximately 95% of the population, while Jews made up approximately 4 % (the remaining 1% was made-up by Kurds and other misc. ethnic groups). Israel, as demarcated by the "1967 borders" is only 1% of the land area of the non-Turkish Ottoman lands. So Arabs made up 95% of people, but got 99% of the land, whereas Jews made up 4% but got only 1% of the land. (And that's only counting the Middle Eastern Jews -- it would be much highter than 4% if one counted the Jews originally indigeneous to the Middle East who were essentially being held hostage in Europe, that is, when they weren't being murdered). The Arabs didn't get cheated. By any objective measure, it was the Jews who got cheated, not the Arabs.

Posted by: amc | December 7, 2006 01:24 PM

Let me first say that I am a Palestinian American and a pacifist. I believe violence only begets more violence. Needless to say, President Carter is a man of courage for writing this book. Today, if one is critical of Israel or her policy one is labeled anti-Semitic. It is ironic because even Arabs and Arab Americans are labeled anti-Semitic, which is a fallacy since we are also Semitic people.

Israel is an Apartheid state. According to the United States State Department figures of 2005, all Palestinians (including those in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza) outnumber Jewish Israelis. A minority is controlling a majority, and the minority discriminates against the majority. There are roads for Israelis and roads for Palestinian. While twenty percent of the "so called Israel pollution" is Arab, who are given similar rights as Israeli Jews. There are actually laws in Israel that discriminate against Arab/Palestinian citizens. For example, there is a law preventing Arab Israeli's from marrying a Palestinian living in the West Bank and Gaza. Let me clarify my point, if a Palestinian who has Israeli citizenship marries a Palestinian who is from the West Bank, the West Bank spouse cannot move inside 1948 Israel to live with the Arab Israeli citizen spouse. These rules do not prevent an Israeli Jew from marrying whoever he/she wants and moving said spouse to Israel.

Israel is not a true democracy. There are millions of Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza who are not allowed to vote. If one looks at a map of Israel today, one sees land that consists of 1948 Israel and all the territory Israel has subsequently gained through the year. For it to be a democracy, all people in Israel would be allowed to vote.

If there is to be lasting peace, Israelis need to believe in humanity. Both sides need to recognize that the other is not leaving and they need to learn how to co-exist in historical Palestine.

Posted by: i | December 7, 2006 01:26 PM

The article about Mr. Stein's critcism of President Carter's new book written in the NY Times by a Jewish author is very critical of Carter. The article about Mr. Stein's criticism of Carter's book written by a non-Jew in the Post is mostly supportive or balanced. Hum, I wonder why.

Posted by: Cato | December 7, 2006 01:27 PM

I'm sure J is not Jefferson Morley.

I have e-mailed and debated Jefferson many times. He is considerate, informed, and even-keeled, and does not get personal when he debates.

I was wrong to even think that J might be Jefferson, as he is none of those things.

Posted by: david | December 7, 2006 02:08 PM

Davesax, (David), Golda Mier, Bill Clinton?,

My problem with the Mr. Steins take on Mr carters book is very similar to the problem I have with your approach in this discussion. He limits his attacks to Mr. Carters Personal integrity and scholarly acumen, citing factual Errors, Ommisions, and (of all things) personal differences in opinion and recollections.

Everything but the actual point of the book, which is that the settlements and the occupation are morally wrong, and more importantly inspire needless terrorism against both Israel and now the United States, which he fails to address whatsoever, and which remain utterly unassailable regardless of any of the things that Carter may (or most likely may not) have ommited, mispelled, had the audacity to criticze Israel about ,or otherwise.

Carters views wiht regard to the importance of removeing the settlements and ending the occupation are in fact shared by most Israelis, as evidenced both by the Kadima Party's very charter, the removal of the settlements in Gaza, and Olmerts very recent suggestion that Israel is ready to remove most of the other settlements and the occupation in order to achieve peace.

Tony Blair has said exactly the same thing that Carter has, saying to Congress that there will never be an end to the war on terror until there is a just and fair resolution of the Isreali-Palestinian situation. Now are there any ommisions or mispellings you would like to dispute with Mr. Blair?

Steins tactic (charactor assasination, insinuatations of antisemitism,( in that he suggested that the very title of the book was unrepeatable because he felt it was so offensive) ect) is precisely the same tactic that was used agaisnt Walt and Mearshiemer (the authors of the "Israel Lobby"), by many pro-Settlement Critics; trying to draw attention away from the 800 pound Gorilla in the room by starting an arguement about the carpeting). And in fact, this are exactly the same tactics used on virtually anyone who gets press attention by questioning The US relationship with Israel as it pertains to the settlements and the occupation.

There is rarely, if ever an actual discussion of the merits of the POINT that those who are similary assailed are trying to make. In fact, the entire ritual is aimed at obscuring the issues.

With regard to the ISG, their recommendations include very prominantly the assertion that little else that they recommend will work without serious movement towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This means the removal of the settlements and the end of the occupation. The reason that this is critical is not because the ISG does not care for Jewish people or prefer Palestinians, but rather because they recognize that the situation needlessly fuels ME terrorism, such as the type we experience in Iraq, In Israel, and in the US.

Lets discuss the over arching policy and it merits and flaws, rather than attempting to marginalize others using baseless quibbling about the details to drag the discussion into a sea of equivocation.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 02:12 PM

WHAT JIMMY CARTER HAS BROUGHT TO THE LIGHT NO MAN CAN SEND BACK TO THE DARKNESS. The South Africans claimed they were protecting themselves, their culture their heritage, their faith, their Europeaness THEIR DMOCRACY, and so they set about to create TOWNSHIPS, where BLACKS can go back to when their work is done at the Whites' FARMS, FACTORIES, HOMES, WHATEVER CHEAP REMEDIAL WORK they can be sponsored for by the WHITEs they work for. The WHITES SETUP ROAD BLOCKS and CHECK POINTS. BASIC FREEDOMS for BLACKs did not exist; When the BLACKs protested the inhuman treatments, or fight for the basic FREEDOUMS the WHITES called them terrorists, and killed them, kill CHILDERN, kill WOMEN, kill OLD HELPLESS people around them indiscriminately in the name of THEIR SECURITY. THE WHITES went in to TOWNSHIPS. And when anyone questioned why the killed these helpless, innocent people as well they replied by say it was an accident or they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that there are the ONLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY IN THE REGION.
I can go on and on; BUT fair and FREE minded people can judge for themselves without be called anti-Semitic. Or attracted by every Jew in America. OBERSSION will never LAST. Let history show what happen to those who oppress others violently. Look at Hitler, Mussolini, France in Tunisia, even South Africa. OBRESSION WILL END IN ONE OF TWO WAYS, FOR ISREAL SAKE I HOPE IT WILL END PEACABLY.

BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS.

Posted by: hmsd | December 7, 2006 02:12 PM

The Palestinians win the Olympic gold medal in representing the cult to victimology.

Its supporters win the Olympic gold in hypocrisy.

Israel wins the Olympic gold in bravery.

Big time.

Posted by: Illimani | December 7, 2006 02:17 PM

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.".....Dr. Martin Luther King

Posted by: F | December 7, 2006 02:18 PM

i,

You Said;

"If there is to be lasting peace, Israelis need to believe in humanity. Both sides need to recognize that the other is not leaving and they need to learn how to co-exist in historical Palestine."


Well stated.


J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 02:24 PM

If you look at the huge amount of press Ken Stein received for his resignation from the Carter center, it shows that the Israel Lobby, which controls our media, will flood the media with this insignificant event to continue their propaganda. Ken Stein is a fellow as their are many other fellows in the Carter center. His resignation means nothing. He is a tool of the Israel Lobby. The Lobby is desperate now, so it recycles some non-event like Ken Stein's resignation to create a false perception that Americans really dislike Carter's book.

The Israel Lobby's propaganda includes (1) America support Israel because Americans love Israel (not the Israel Lobby blackmails politicans with money and media control to support Israel) (2) Israel is fighting with America in the war on terror.

The truth, which the rest of the world knows, is that Americans do not love Israel, but that the Israel Lobby blackmails the politicians by their campaign donations and media control. If a Senator or a Congressman does not support Israel, the Jewish campaign donations will flood his opponent, the media will start a relentless campaign against him (e.g., "discover: that he rented certain types of movies and other silly things) in order to discredit him. In fact, as documented in many articles, major political parties receive 60% of their campaign donations from Jewish groups which constitute 2% of the US population. Because they give the money and control the media, the politicians in this country routinely support Israel even when it is in direct conflict with our own interest.

Regarding the war on terror, America has a terrorism problem because of Israel. It is our support of Israel that enables that country to occupy Palestinian land, which causes Bin Laden and others to attack us. The rest of the world talks about this all the time, but we in the US do not hear this because the vast sections of our media is owned or controlled by members of the Jewish Lobby.


Posted by: Alan | December 7, 2006 02:30 PM

Perhaps Jimmy Carter's beliefs are so one-sided that he doesn't realize the positive things that can and do occur between the Israelis and the Palestinians. There can be peace if both sides are willing to make concessions. Once in a while, he needs to close his mouth, open his eyes, and stop blaming the Israelis for all the problems in the Middle East. The Palestinian people voted in a terrorist organization to rule them, and it's not working out well. Assigning blame and the continued cycles of violence will never bring peace. I'm tired of people like the former President viewing the issues of the Middle East region through a narrow scope. These are not black and white issues. Jimmy Carter's book and comments are devisive and work against a lasting solution for peace. In the meantime, read below and see that there are good people on BOTH sides.

Israeli surgeons repair young Palestinians' hearts
(Reuters report on 'Save A Child's Heart:' )

Her lower lip quivering with every breath, Hala Ketnani, a 10-month-old girl from Gaza, sleeps in an Israeli intensive care unit as she recovers from heart surgery.

She was unable to have the operation in Gaza, where many hospitals are suffering from worsening conditions since a Western aid embargo was imposed to pressure the Hamas-led Palestinian government to recognize Israel.

Under the private Israeli program "Save a Child's Heart," doctors at Wolfson Hospital in Holon repair congenital heart defects for children like Ketnani from the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Jordan and Africa.

More than 1,000 children have been helped so far by the program.

"I'm so happy to see the color returning to Hala's cheeks," said the baby's grandmother, Raisa Ketnani, 65. "I am very thankful."

Israeli soldiers and settlers quit Gaza in 2005, but a substantial number of Palestinians still rely on either Israel or neighboring Egypt for humanitarian needs such as medicine.

The need has risen in the past year with a drop in medical care levels in Gaza and the West Bank since Hamas took office and Western nations cut off direct funds to the Palestinian Authority.

Though it generally denies entry to Palestinians since the second intifada began in 2000, Israel says it eases the restrictions when it comes to medical care.

Shlomo Dror, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said about 1,000 Palestinians per month receive medical treatment in Israel, up from 600 in recent years.

Entry permits for children in need of medical attention in Israel are usually approved in a matter of days, although adults are subject to security screening, Dror says.

Israel has stepped up the screening since a recent suicide bombing at a Gaza checkpoint by a woman who had sought medical care in Israel, and a bomb found on another woman, Dror said.

Over the past year, "Save a Child's Heart" has treated more than 100 children from Gaza and the West Bank, and hundreds from elsewhere in the region, including a growing number from Iraq.

Founded in 1995 by the late U.S.-born cardiologist Amram Cohen, the program has expanded to include training for Palestinians and other doctors in pediatric cardiac surgery.

"We believe every child deserves the best possible medical care," said the director, Simon Fisher.

Medicine, he said, is a logical common denominator to help bridge differences between Israelis and Palestinians.

Posted by: WDC | December 7, 2006 02:56 PM

I beleive President Carter is right on target with his use of the term Apartheid. I also believe it takes integrity and lots of intestinal fortitude to say anything in public or private that will be seen as critical of Israel. I have been to Israel on several occasions working for the US Government. As a African-American I was immediately struck by the simularities of South African Apartheid and the treatment of Arabs in Israel. I felt the oppression almost immediately after existing the airport in Tel Aviv and I had the inexplicable desire to make sure the Israelis knew I was American. Maybe it was becaused I was raised in the "Old South" and knew first hand how "second class citizens" were treated. For all the scholars and well meaning supporters of Israel, you just have to go there to understand either side. I understand the national obsession with security, but security at the cost of oppression only makes more terrorists.

Posted by: T. Greene | December 7, 2006 03:11 PM

WDC,

Thanks for the Zionist propaganda. After stealing Palestinian land, water resources, encircling Palestinians in an Apartheid Wall and brutalizing them, Israeli surgeons are repairing a child's heart.

It is amazing that such a small number you can flood the press with this propaganda.

WDC, please comment why Jewish neocons pushed America into this mess in Iraq? Why Zionist agents like Perle, Wolfowitz, Krauthammer, Safire and Kristol told us in 2002 that we must attack Iraq for our own good (not for Israel!!!)? And now that we are in this mess, those rats are nowhere to be seen.

Why do we give over $3 billion a year to Israel (about $500 for each Israeli) when Israel is a rich country by Western European standard? Ans: Because we love Israel so much that we don't mind being attacked by terrorist because of our support of Israel

Jimmy Carter is truly a decent and a good man. Carter has pointed the facts as exists, no propaganda.

Why do you guys rarely volunteer to fight for America such as going to Iraq, but are always willing to join the Israeli army?

Posted by: sam | December 7, 2006 03:16 PM

Anger over Palestine is a psychological mechanism that diverts attention from the real problems facing Arab society--a failing region due not to Jews or Americans, but to autocracy, gender apartheid, statism, tribalism, corruption, censured media, religious intolerance, polygamy and a host of other pathologies. China, alternatively, no longer blames the United States and its 'running dog' capitalism for its problems because it is successful and self-confident, competing with, rather than scapegoating, the West. Japan is not talking about a lost Manchuria or the Russian-occupied islands, nor is Germany deteriorating because of the Polish "theft" of East Prussia, nor is the Argentine democracy calling for suicide bombers to hit the Falklands.

A good reason why there is such a cult of victomology among the Arab world is due to the fact that they are falling behind the rest of the world in everything. What better way to blame its problems on the successful yet hated symbol of Western civilization such as Israel, which is located in the heart of the Arab world?

They started to recongize the problem with this report. Link to Arab Human Development Report 2002-2004:

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Articles/Story1346.html

Posted by: Illimani | December 7, 2006 03:23 PM

Monte,

You are correct. The Palestinian right of return must be respected or they must be compensated.

I do not think Palestinians should be allowed to return to Israel as that would destroy Israel, but Israel must admit responsibility for the crimes and the international community must make some reparations.

As for Jimmy Carter, we all owe a great debt of gratitude to this American for courageously speaking out on this issue that many politicians are so afraid of. For millions of Americans, Jimmy Carter is the symbol of everything that made this country great. I am a Republican, and I know many Republicans who today realize what a great man Carter is. Unlike other sleazebag politicians, he has devoted his life to great causes.

Posted by: Tony | December 7, 2006 03:26 PM

"Davesax, (David), Golda Mier, Bill Clinton?"

You can call me any of those things and joke around if that makes you feel good, but my name is David. Dave is fine, too.

"My problem with the Mr. Steins take on Mr carters book is very similar to the problem I have with your approach in this discussion."

What problem with my approach? I'm simply asking you to back your claims with facts.

It's perfectly logical for me to ask you to back your assertion that Stein is part of a Lobby, with any evidence you might have. I don't understand why that's an issue with you. You have posted here for a long time You understand what "debate" means.

"He limits his attacks to Mr. Carters Personal integrity"

What attacks on his personal integrity? He actually praises Carter and his time he spent working with him.

And when did I attack you? I merely asked you to back your claim that Stein has no credibility because he's part of a lobby, and pointed out that you are being dishonest by constantly changing the subject.

How is that a personal attack?

"scholarly acumen, citing factual Errors, Ommisions"

What's wrong with pointing out factual errors and omissions? Norman Finkelstein started his career by pointing out shoddy scholarship in Joan Peterson's From Time Immemorial (A work Stein doesn't care for, either). It's how things are debated and the truth is unearthed. Again, I fail to see how pointing out factual errors impugns the integrity of the person who does so.

"and (of all things) personal differences in opinion and recollections."

Opinions are formed by facts, a person's background, etc. Mr. Stein has called Carter's opinions and sincerity into question based on Carter's fabrications. That's what scholars do. Journalists are the same way. Jefferson does the same thing in his Q&A's with people. It's how things are debated in the world of ideas.

Also, Stein didn't talk about recollections of said meetings, he talked about notes he has documenting those meetings.

Now, if you are saying that Stein's notes are wrong you need to provide links to the book and links to other sources that prove them wrong. I mean, that's how debate on these boards and blogs works, right? I'm entirely allowed to ask you to back your assertions.
Or am I? You obviously think that Stein isn't. Perhaps you see me the same way.

"Everything but the actual point of the book, which is that the settlements and the occupation are morally wrong, and more importantly inspire needless terrorism against both Israel and now the United States, which he fails to address whatsoever."

Actually, if you read the letter, (you didn't), he has said he is going to make a point by point refutation and will present it when he is done.

Says Stein: "In due course, I shall detail these points and reflect on their origins."

Obviously it's going to take some time if he's to do a respectable job.

"and which remain utterly unassailable regardless of any of the things that Carter may (or most likely may not) have ommited, mispelled, had the audacity to criticze Israel about ,or otherwise"

Sadly, J, what is coming though...and that you have made a point about repeatedly, is that getting facts right really doesn't matter with you. And if getting facts right doesn't matter, than you are saying that truth is irrelevant. And if truth is irrelevant, than propaganda is the answer. I simply don't see how any intelligent person could believe that propaganda is more relevant than truth. I simply can't respect a person who feels that way.

Perhaps this is why you don't provide links to sources and make up things as you go along.

"Carters views wiht regard to the importance of removeing the settlements"

When did Stein or anyone advocate for keeping the settlements? You say you don't even know his work. You have no idea what he's written about the settlements. He is actually an outspoken advocate of a two state solution, which includes deconstruction of most of the settlements. That's why Carter worked with him.

Just type in Kenneth Stein into Google. Lots of his work is available on the web.

"and ending the occupation are in fact shared by most Israelis, as evidenced both by the Kadima Party's very charter,"

What charter?

Here is the Kadima "action plan"

http://www.kadimasharon.co.il/15-en/Kadima.aspx.

It talks about removing some settlements, but puts the onus for maintaining piece on the Palestinians discontinuing violence and being totally demilitarized.

Some of what it says...

"1. Israel will retain areas that are crucial for its security.
2. Israel will retain Jewish holy places that are of central religious and symbolic national importance, in particular a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
3. Israel will retain the large Jewish settlement blocs...
The onus of responsibility for the next step now lies with the Palestinians."

"the removal of the settlements in Gaza, and Olmerts very recent suggestion that Israel is ready to remove most of the other settlements and the occupation in order to achieve peace."

Yes, Olmert did say that. When did Stein disagree with it in his letter to Carter? He expressed displeasure with the word apartheid, and I don't blame him. How can one justify using that word while claiming, as Jimmy does, that the Palestinians had fair, democratic elections in Jerusalem? Isn't that a contradiction?

Or, is that "fact", that democratic elections can't take place in an apartheid context, irrelevant as well?

And I still don't see how being against the mislabel "apartheid" = Stein being against Ehud Olmert withdrawing from settlements. I confess to not understanding your logic.

"Tony Blair has said exactly the same thing that Carter has."

When did he accuse Israel of apartheid? Lots of people in Israel and outside of the country have called for an end to the settlement policy. Carter is hardly unique in that regard, and I understand that. But when has Blair agreed with him about apartheid?
"Steins tactic (charactor assasination, insinuatations of antisemitism)"

Now we're going from pointing out "omissions" to outright "character assasination and insinuations of anti-Semitism".

Where did he attempt "character assassination" on Carter? And what's wrong with feeling uncomfortable with the word apartheid? And how does that tie into anti-Semitism?

"Lets discuss the over arching policy and it merits and flaws, rather than attempting to marginalize others using baseless quibbling about the details to drag the discussion into a sea of equivocation. "

Translation: Let's not talk facts. Let's talk generalities.

Well, J, you got me there. I always thought intelligent, enlightened debate took place when informed people talked facts and made opinions based on those facts. Obviously, you don't see things that way.

It's unfortunate that I let you waste so much of my day after I gave you the courtesy of providing reputable links, only for you to essentially respond by saying, "facts are irrelevant" and "disagreeing with Carter means you're pro settlement".

No wonder peace seems so far off.

Best,

David


Posted by: davesax | December 7, 2006 03:46 PM

I feel sorry for the mideast. They have embraced a religion that encourages violence, leaves them behind economically and incapable of peaceful self rule and tolerance.

Posted by: pATRICK | December 7, 2006 03:53 PM

MEMO
March 28, 2001

To: Thomas L. Friedman (columnist New York Times)
From: Nelson Mandela (former President South Africa)

Dear Thomas,
I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle East, but before you continue to talk about necessary conditions from an Israeli perspective, you need to know what's on my mind. Where to begin? How about 1964. Let me quote my own words during my trial. They are true today as they were then:

"I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Today the world, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. In South Africa it has been ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. That mass campaign of defiance and other actions could only culminate in the establishment of democracy.

Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the situation in Palestine or more specifically, the structure of political and cultural relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as an apartheid system. This is because you incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967. This was demonstrated in your recent column "Bush's First Memo" in the New York Times on March 27, 2001.

You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established "normally" and happened to occupy another country in 1967. Palestinians are not struggling for a "state" but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.

In the last few years, and especially during the reign of the Labour Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to return what it occupied in 1967; that settlements remain, Jerusalem would be under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians would not have an independent state, but would be under Israeli economic domination with Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.

Israel was not thinking of a "state" but of "separation". The valua of separation is measured in terms of the ability of Israel to keep the Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian minority that could have the opportunity to become a majority at some time in the future. If this takes place, it would force Israel to either become a secular democratic or bi-national state, or to turn into a state of apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.

Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the last 30 or 40 years, you clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third of the population who openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism is of the nature of "I hate Arabs" and "I wish Arabs would be dead". If you also follow the judicial system in Israel you will see there is discrimination against Palestinians, and if you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated.

As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called "Palestinian autonomous areas" are bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system.

The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel. Israel's racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a "Jewish" state.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.

The responses made by South Africa to human rights abuses emanating from the removal policies and apartheid policies respectively, shed light on what Israeli society must necessarily go through before one can speak of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end to its apartheid policies.

Thomas, I'm not abandoning Mideast diplomacy. But I'm not going to indulge you the way your supporters do. If you want peace and democracy, I will support you. If you want formal apartheid, we will not support you. If you want to support racial discrimination and ethnic cleansing, we will oppose you. When you figure out what you're about, give me a call.
Source: http://progressiveaustin.org/mandelap.htm

Posted by: Apart Heid | December 7, 2006 04:02 PM

Admirable that Israeli Dr's treat Palestinian children.

The Palestinian's are also capable of wonderful gestures - see below:

Palestinian's organs go to Israel

Ahmed was shot by Israeli soldiers who thought his toy gun was real
The parents of a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank have donated his organs for use in Israel, in the hope of promoting peace.
Twelve-year-old Ahmed Ismail Khatib was shot in the town of Jenin by troops who mistook his toy gun for a real one.

His organs were transplanted into five Israeli children and a woman aged 58.

His father, Ismail, said saving lives was more important than religion, and added: "I feel that my son has entered the heart of every Israeli."

Ahmed died in hospital from his injuries after being shot in the body and head while throwing stones at Israeli soldiers who were hunting suspected militants in Jenin.

The Israeli army expressed regret over his shooting.

'Gesture of love'

Israel's parliamentary speaker, Reuven Rivlin, praised the Khatib family's action as a "remarkable gesture" after decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Khatib said he was very proud that his son's organs would help six Israelis.


Ahmed's parents said they were proud to help save other children

"I have taken this decision because I have a message for the world: that the Palestinian people want peace - for everyone," he told the AFP news agency.

"We have no problem whether it is an Israeli or a Palestinian [who receives his organs] because it will give them life," added the boy's mother, Ablah Khatib.

Ahmed's kidneys, liver, heart and lungs were transplanted into Israelis including Jews, Arabs and a Druze girl, medical officials said.

The girl, aged 12 and from Israel's Arab minority, received Ahmed's heart, bringing to an end a five-year wait for a transplant.

Her father, Riad Gadban, called the donation a "gesture of love" and said his daughter was regaining strength after the operation.


Posted by: Angus | December 7, 2006 04:16 PM

What Carter is arguing is that the best interests of Israel and the United States are not served by the current policies. Some still cling to the fantasy that holding on to land in the West Bank will improve Israeli security, but as the recent war with Hezbollah conclusively showed, increasing sophistication of military technologies makes holding land no serious barrier for those who wish to send rockets and bombs hundreds of miles away.

The only real protection for a small country like Israel is to have good relations with its neighbors, and that is precisely what the occupation systematically undermines.

Jimmy Carter is speaking the truth as he knows it. Doing so is very good for the Jews. Liberal and progressive Jews know that the mainstream Jewish community, including the Jewish press in America, has disowned them. Younger Jews cannot safely express criticisms of Israeli policy without being told that they are disloyal or self-hating.

It's time to create a new openness to criticism and a new debate. I hope that Jimmy Carter's book helps make that possible.

Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue, which meets in San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., and national chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He is the author of "Healing Israel/Palestine."

COMMENTARY

EX-PRESIDENT'S BOOK

Carter speaks the truth, and that's good for Jews

BY RABBI MICHAEL LERNER, JTA

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jimmy Carter was the best friend the Jews ever had as president of the United States.

He is the only president to have actually delivered for the Jewish people an agreement -- the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt -- that has stood the test of time. There have been bad vibes at subsequent times between Israel and Egypt, but there has never been a return to war once Israel fully withdrew from the territories it conquered in Egypt during the 1967 war.

To get that agreement, Carter had to twist the arms of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat. Sometimes that is what real friends do -- they push you into a path that is really in your best interest at times when there is an emergency and you are acting self-destructively.

When the U.S. government is following a self-destructive policy, even a policy backed by people in both major political parties, its best friends are those who try to change its direction and are not afraid to hold back intense critique.

That's why a majority of Americans, and 86 percent of American Jews, voted to reject Bush's war in Iraq and his policies suspending habeas corpus and legitimating wiretapping and torture. Not because we were disloyal, but precisely because we love America enough to challenge its policies even when Vice President Cheney questions our loyalty. We know that critique is often an essential part of love and caring.

That is precisely what Jimmy Carter is trying to do for Israel and the Jewish people in his new book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

Of course, any selection of facts is always going to be a choice, and those who buy the mainstream narrative of either the Palestinian or Israeli partisans are going to be unhappy with moments in which their narrative is not the dominant one in this book.

Carter recognizes the mistakes on both sides. That is precisely what the "You are either for us or against us" crowd in both camps cannot stand. Nuance, recognition that both sides have at times been insensitive to the legitimate needs of the other, insistence that both sides need to take steps that are currently rejected--- by Hamas in the Palestinian world, by the Israeli government in the Jewish world -- this is what makes for rational discussion.

Here's an easy way to tell an extremist: Just ask that person if he or she can list at least three terrible errors his/her side has made in this struggle, errors that deserve moral condemnation. If they can't, chances are that no amount of evidence or moral reasoning is ever going to open their minds.

Carter does not claim that Israel is an apartheid state. What he does claim is that the West Bank will be a de facto apartheid situation if the current dynamics represented by the construction of the wall, by the passage of discriminatory legislation, and by the inclusion of racists in the leadership -- most recently that of pro-ethnic-cleansing Israeli Cabinet member Avigdor Lieberman -- continue. The only way to avoid Israel turning into an apartheid state is a genuine peace accord.

In an interview that will appear in the January issue of Tikkun magazine, of which I am an editor, Carter points out that he is "not referring to racism as a basis for Israeli policy in the West Bank, but rather the desire of a minority of Israelis to occupy, confiscate and colonize Palestinian land."

To enforce that occupation of Palestinian land, Israel has built separate roads for Jewish settlers and Palestinians, built separate school systems, has totally different allocations of money, water, food and security for each population, wildly privileging the Jewish settlers and discriminating against the Palestinians whose families have lived there for centuries.

What Carter is arguing is that the best interests of Israel and the United States are not served by the current policies. Some still cling to the fantasy that holding on to land in the West Bank will improve Israeli security, but as the recent war with Hezbollah conclusively showed, increasing sophistication of military technologies makes holding land no serious barrier for those who wish to send rockets and bombs hundreds of miles away.

The only real protection for a small country like Israel is to have good relations with its neighbors, and that is precisely what the occupation systematically undermines.

Jimmy Carter is speaking the truth as he knows it. Doing so is very good for the Jews. Liberal and progressive Jews know that the mainstream Jewish community, including the Jewish press in America, has disowned them. Younger Jews cannot safely express criticisms of Israeli policy without being told that they are disloyal or self-hating.

It's time to create a new openness to criticism and a new debate. I hope that Jimmy Carter's book helps make that possible.

Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun synagogue, which meets in San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., and national chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He is the author of "Healing Israel/Palestine."

Posted by: Kevin | December 7, 2006 04:23 PM

(Welcome Back!)
The amount of flak against Carter's book is no surprise, and I'm sure he expected it too. No big deal!
While I haven't read his book, My own views are somewhat similar. One blogger on, I believe, the National Security Blog, identified themselves as belonging to the Carter wing of the Democratic Party. I probably belong there too.
It would be better for Israel if more Americans and Israelis shared Carter's views. Between Bush and Olmert, I would not be surprised to see Israel buried under a cloud of conventional missiles, from one source or another, because of their stupidity. Israel needs peace!

Posted by: P. J. Casey | December 7, 2006 04:26 PM

Yeah, yeah, Pelosi says it is "wrong" to think "the Jews" would support an apartheid-like regime. And why would "the Jews" be immune to the fascism that has won a following among so many other peoples of this world? Because they're special? Jimmy Carter is right: Israel cannot have peace as long as it continues violating international law and imposing apartheid conditions on the long-suffering Palestinians it has dispossessed and now oppresses. No amount of U.S.-based Zionist spin can change that.

Posted by: Tom | December 7, 2006 04:44 PM

Davesax,

First, let me clarify this for you. Mr. Stein is trying to smear the book while not even having the guts to discuss it's main theme, because, I would assume, that is precisely what Mr Stein wants to avoid, and cause others to avoid as well.

If Mr stein has a criticism of the main thesis of the book, and wants to discuss the real issues, I'm all ears, and I'm quite sure Mr. Carter is as well.

The same goes for you. If you want to discuss the main theme of Carters Book, which are the settlements, and lack of any moral justification for the methods used to sustain them, then I would be happy to discuss it with you. Strangely enough, you appear to agree with Carter. You are opposed to the settlements.

That means that there is a great deal of more commom groun between you and he than not. Do you suppose that Mr. Stein feels that the Settlements and the policies that giude them and their part in the occupation are brutal and inhumane, but not a form of apartheid? Or do you think that he feels they are utterly justified?
Nothing that he has yet said in his media campaign seems to indicate his views of the justifications for them. Rather, he seems aimed only at making Carters Book look flawed in a way that would preclude one from taking anything it says into serious consideration. Furthermore, to suggest that the title was too offensive to repeat on television suggests, unfairly, that Mr. Carter has moved into antisemitism. More Smear tactics, and yet no justification for WHY the title is or is not offensive.

If you are not Pro Settlement, then you have little to quarrel with Mr. Carter or myself about. If you read Carters book, you would know that he is reserving the use of the word Apartheid for the occupied territories, and not Isreal Proper, where he suggests that people are treated fairly and mostly equally (although I will add that the inability to marry a palestinian and have that person be able to ever enter the country or gain citizenship is quite discriminatory)

Regarding Kadima, My reference to their charter was not meant to suggest their formal charter, but to suggest the truth that every one understands in Israel and which Olmert has supported once again, by saying that the settlements and the occupation are very negotiable under the right circumstances, Precisely because they enjoy so little support and cause so much damage.

So, what I am really interested in, rather than discussing Mr. Stein, who I feel is utterly irrelevant to the discussion until he says something of substance, is how you and I, both being opposed to the settlements and occupation as we are, can persuade the US Government to take the actions necessary to end the occupation and settlement movement for good.

Any Ideas?

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 05:03 PM

GREAT NEWS! ALAN DERSHOWITZ, MAT DRUDGE, DAVID HOROWITZ, FOX NEWS, "APE" FOXMAN AND OTHER "FAIR" SOURCES HAVE CRITICIZED JIMMY CARTER.

THEREFORE, CARTER MUST BE WRONG. (COME ON, SINCE THESE ZIONIST-FUNDED PROPAGANDA AGENTS HAVE CRITIZED CARTER, HE MUST BE WRONG!!!!!!!!!). THEREFORE, WE MUST DENOUNCE CARTER.

FOR SOME REASON, ZIONISTS THINK WE AMERICANS ARE ALL STUPIDS, AND CAN BE FOOLED ALL THE TIME.


OF COURSE, JIMMY CARTER IS RIGHT. WHAT IS GOING ON IN PALESTINE IS HORRIBLE, AND IT IS ALL PAID AND FUNDED BY US TAXPAYER DOLLARS COURTESY OF THE ZIONIST CONTROLLED MEDIA. AS LONG AS WE AMERICANS CONTINUE TO ALLOW A TINY MONIORTY TO MANIPULATE OUR MIDDLE EAST POLICY FOR THE BENEFIT OF ISRAEL, THERE WILL ME MORE SEPTEMBER 11.

WE MUST HOLD OUR REPRESENTATIVES ACCOUNTABLE AND DEMAND THAT THEY END SUPPORT OF THIS APARTHEID ISRAEL.

Posted by: Adam | December 7, 2006 05:38 PM

Hi J:

This will be my last response to you, as I really don't have the time to spend on this board that you seem to. And, from the content of your responses, it's obvious you are not doing a careful reading of my posts in full, anyway. Or, at least you do not comprehend them, because you keep saying the same thing.

"Mr. Stein is trying to smear the book while not even having the guts to discuss it's main theme."

Even your friend, Norman Finkelstein, said the book is full of factual errors. Is he simply trying to smear the book, too?

A smear is an unsubstantiated, false accusation. I see no evidence of this in anything Stein has written. He said that the book is replete with errors and distortions that he will document thoroughly and present to the public.

"because, I would assume, that is precisely what Mr Stein wants to avoid, and cause others to avoid as well"

On what evidence do you base your assumptions? And how is compiling errors and fabrications avoidance of anything? Again, I fail to understand your logic.

Please supply links to his work supporting your theory that he is deliberately trying to mislead the public or smear Carter in any way.

"not even having the guts to discuss it's main theme"

Huh? What has Stein said that shows a lack of "guts"? He already said he plans a full response to Carter's accusations. I fail to see your problem with this.

He is a leading intellectual on the Middle East. He has dedicated his life to discussing what you call "the main theme", which is the Arab-Israeli conflict and how to solve it. That is why Carter was attending his classes as recently as last month, and why Stein is the FOUNDER of the Center.

If you really believe that calling people on lies is a waste of time, than I guess you really don't care if propaganda becomes part of any discussion.

I do.

"if Mr stein has a criticism of the main thesis of the book, and wants to discuss the real issues, I'm all ears,"

Then why haven't you visited his homepage to read his enormous body of work that is available to the public on the subject of the conflict? Or looked up his books on Amazon? Or read a summary of the book on the conflict that he and Jimmy Carter wrote together? It's been a full day now, and I've pointed you in the right direction and you haven't taken it.

If you are really "all ears" than start acting like it.

"and I'm quite sure Mr. Carter is as well."

Um, right...that's why Carter has been going to Stein's classes for years, and authored a book with him.

"The same goes for you. If you want to discuss the main theme of Carters Book, which are the settlements, and lack of any moral justification for the methods used to sustain them, then I would be happy to discuss it with you."

J...I have been trying to have a DISCUSSION with you for a full day. You haven't supplied me with a SINGLE, VERIFIABLE FACT YET. I think a full day is more than enough time to give someone to do this, and you've fallen short.

"Strangely enough, you appear to agree with Carter."

Um, no I don't. I think Carter's take on the causes and who's at fault, and that the settlements are the "main problem" is not accurate. I think the fact that he sees them as "The Main Theme" is part of the problem with his whole view.

I also think the term apartheid is disingenuous and anti-intellectual.

"Do you suppose that Mr. Stein feels that the Settlements and the policies that giude them and their part in the occupation are brutal and inhumane."

I have told you he is for a two state solution and opposes the settlements. It's on his website.

READ HIS WORK and get his opinions before judging him.

"but not a form of apartheid?"

Obviously he doesn't feel that the settlements are a form of "apartheid". And neither do I. See above.

"Or do you think that he feels they are utterly justified?"

LAST TIME: read his work and find out for yourself before judging. If he felt they were justified, it's obvious Carter would want nothing to do with him and wouldn't be sitting in on his classes and have written a book with him.

"Nothing that he has yet said in his media campaign seems to indicate his views of the justifications for them. Rather, he seems aimed only at making Carters Book look flawed in a way that would preclude one from taking anything it says into serious consideration."

Do you notice how repetitious you are? You've been saying the same thing since your first post. That Stein has no credibility.

Haven't you tired of it?

"Furthermore, to suggest that the title was too offensive to repeat on television suggests, unfairly, that Mr. Carter has moved into antisemitism."

That's your interpretation, not mine. Not once did Stein mention anti-Semitism or accuse Carter of smearing the Jewish people. Had he said that Carter's book and use of the term "Apartheid" was an attack on Jews, you'd have some validity.

"have little to quarrel with Mr. Carter or myself about"

Like I said, I have plenty to quarrel with Carter about. His entire outlook on the situation - and his book, in which he makes settlements the main theme and obstacle to peace - magnifies Israeli wrongdoings, and negates Arab aggression that's been around since before the Mufti conspired with Hitler.

Also, Carter supports Hamas, an organization dedicated to Israel's annihilation. He recently sent out a mailing to his center's funders saying that people should support Hamas. A person I know - who is a donor - received it in the mail.

As for you, I've given you the courtesy of providing point by point rebuttles here, so obviously, I'm at odds with you.

First you made a statement about Stein being part of a Lobby. I asked you to back that up and you moved on to the next lie, which was claim that AIPAC stopped Bush 1 from cutting off all aid to Israel. I asked for evidence of that, and you simply ignored me there, too, then talked about some Kadima Charter about withdrawing from all settlements as the solution to the conflict, that really doesn't exist.

"you would know that he is reserving the use of the word Apartheid for the occupied territories"

But people in the West Bank voted in what he called a "fair and democratic election", and the West Bank has been under the administration of the Palestinian Authority with the exception of the checkpoints and roadblocks on the settlement routes and into Israel proper. I still don't understand how the right to vote and be under Hamas' laws equals apartheid.

I DO think that the settlement practice has been immoral and resulted in some discriminatory discomforts for the Palestinians and troublesome moral dilemmas for Israel.


"So, what I am really interested in, rather than discussing Mr. Stein, who I feel is utterly irrelevant to the discussion"

Now he's irrelevant? Carter obviously doesn't think so, because as recently as last month he was sitting in on Stein's classes. AND Stein founded the Center with Carter, went to the Middle East with him, advised him, and wrote a book with him. Besides, you just went on a repetitious tirade - in three or four posts - accusing him of being part of a coercive Lobby out to smear Carter and destroy his reputation.

No, I think that type of accusation means that you see him - and his "Lobby" - as very relevant to the discussion, which is why I've argued with you about it in my posts.

"until he says something of substance"

J...He is one of the leading scholars of the conflict in this country. He has said more of substance than you have ever typed in your "years" on this message board. That is why Carter sat in on his classes.

Are you saying that Carter works with people who have nothing of substance to ad to the discussion?

"you and I, both being opposed to the settlements and occupation as we are, can persuade the US Government to take the actions necessary to end the occupation and settlement movement for good.

Any Ideas?"

I don't see the dynamic and the solution the same way you do. I already told you that. I don't feel that "persuading the US Government to take the actions necessary to end the occupation and settlement movement" is the main answer to solving the conflict. And I don't think it will end the conflict if it ever comes to that.

Carter does. He wrote a whole book espousing his opinion that the settlements are the main obstacle to peace, and he backed it up with fabrications and the false label of apartheid. You feel it's perfectly reasonable to frame the debate in those terms. I don't, and neither does a very reputable scholar who has worked with Carter.

Whether you are willing to admit it or not, Carter has a credibility problem.

Now, I do think that suspending some loan guarantees MIGHT stop settlement expansion for awhile, but the real problem is with the parliamentary government in Israel, which gives these right wingers too much power. Only Israel can send in the troops to get the settlers out.

Unless...

You want to send in UN troups. And good luck getting a force in there that is willing to sit in Hamas or Fatah's bullseye, and any Israeli government that will put those borders in the control of some blue hats, which have an utterly debased record in intervention in conflict areas.

And I don't believe, given the daily rocket fire from Gaza since the withdrawal and the election of Hamas, that deconstructing the settlements will make Hamas or the Palestinians accept the Jewish state. I simply don't see evidence in their behavior that that's the case.

I hope I'm proven wrong in the future.

Posted by: david | December 7, 2006 06:59 PM

Dave/Davesax:

"Mr. Stein has called Carter's opinions and sincerity into question based on Carter's fabrications. That's what scholars do."

Shouldn't that be "alleged fabrications"? I mean at this point it is essentially Stein's word against Carters and Stein, judging by the almost hysterical reaction amongst pro-Israelis, seems to have good reason to attempt to discredit Carter. The manner of his criticism clearly shows that his opinion on the issue is not just a "scholarly" one, but one with deep emotion and loyalty attached, not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but emotions can compromise objectivity. The way he refers to the title of the book as "unmentionable" and his implications of racism and anti-Semitism are quite illuminating in how emotionally disturbing Carters argument is for him.

"Also, Stein didn't talk about recollections of said meetings, he talked about notes he has documenting those meetings."

That is again essentially Steins word against Carters and his notes could just as easily be "fabricated", especially, as I pointed out earlier, his criticism is more emotional that objective and unrelated to the central premise of the book.

"Now, if you are saying that Stein's notes are wrong you need to provide links to the book and links to other sources that prove them wrong"

On the contrary, at this point I would put the burden on Stein to prove his allegations of "fabrication", plagiarism etc. Until such claims are proven, in a court of law, accepted by the publisher as valid... whatever, we should at the very least extend to Carter that so very American principle of "innocent until proven guilty", unless of course you are a fan of George Bush's detainee and "terror" (you could probably substitute Muslim) suspect rules.

"Actually, if you read the letter, (you didn't), he has said he is going to make a point by point refutation and will present it when he is done."

Wonderful, we should wait until he actually has something useful and "factual" to say before giving him anymore credibility for statements any one with an ideologically opposite viewpoint could make to discredit their ideological opponent's argument.
Stein may be a scholar, but I have to agree with J that his critique is more emotional than objective in that he has not, at this time, rebutted Carters central argument against the continued existence of the settlements being an obstacle to peace, or their tragic impact on the lives of the Palestinians. Until he (a) proves his allegations and (b) provides his "point by point" rebuttal, he is just another pro Israeli shill.

Posted by: Zain | December 7, 2006 07:54 PM

I have been reading all kinds of comments regarding president Carter's recent book about Israeli-Palestinian dispute. I have noticed that several writers have branded president Carter anti-Semite and anti- Israel, but these people have failed to quote a single sentence that will show his anti-Semite attitude or remark. He is just stating the facts.
Most pro-Israeli Americans, especially Jewish supporters, are upset and mad at
Carter because he told the truth.
Muslims and Arabs have never persecuted or killed Jews. If you have any basic knowledge of history you will find out that Arabs and other Muslims protected Jews. Muslims offered them asylum and high posts when Europeans were persecuting, banishing and killing Jews. The Hatred started only after the creation of Israel in 1948 on Arab Land. The hatred became more intense after the 1967 war when Israel started settling Jews on Palestinian Land and began persecuting, humiliating and killing these helpless people with all kinds of sophisticated armaments supplied by our country, U.S.A.
I admire Jewish people for their achievements in Science, Technology, Arts and Music etc. But how could Jewish people be so short sighted and Naïve to support all the actions
of Israel blindly. They have this wild Dream of Greater Israel. How long 13 ml. Jews
will go on fighting 1.4bl Muslims. The only friend Israel has left is U.S.A. America
cannot go on supporting Israel blindly with its Blood and Treasure for ever. Sooner or
later there will be a Backlash and the support will stop.
Israel has become a parasite and it is slowly killing its host, the U.S.A
The whole world is on fire because of the Israeli occupation of GAZA and WEST BANK. Israel should accept Arabs' offer of year 2002 to go back to pre 1967 border
in exchange for recognition. Once Israel accepts this there will be peace in the world and
all the Terrorist will be out of business. Israel cannot have both, piece of land and peace
of mind.

Posted by: jafry | December 7, 2006 08:00 PM

Zain:

"Until he (a) proves his allegations and (b) provides his "point by point" rebuttal, he is just another pro Israeli shill."

I'm not sure what you mean by "pro Israeli shill." Do you mean that Stein likes Israelis more than Palestinians? And what type of Israelis? Israeli Arabs? Jews? etc?

Perhaps you mean that because Stein is Jewish and happens to sympathize with Israel's predicament (which you don't really know, since you haven't read his books or work), he cannot be trusted to make logical, credible arguments?

If you do mean that, then you're not really helping Carter's case, since Carter wrote a book with him and has learned from Stein by sitting in on his classes over the years.

If Carter trusts Stein and claims he's learned from him, then what does that say about Carter? Maybe he's not that sharp and was duped by a Lobby member like Stein, but he's seeing the light with this book?

And also, if you do mean that Jews who are sympathetic to Israel cannot be trusted to make arguments about this topic, then by that logic, Muslim Arabs who are sympathetic to the Palestinians can't be trusted to comment on the situation, either, since their objectivity is also compromised.

Congratulations. You've eliminated a vast amount of scholarship put out by members of MESA, and Columbia University's MES program, since many of those professors are Muslim Arabs.

And by that ridiculous logic, you've also negated the necessity of this Blog, since Jefferson routinely quotes from Muslim/Arab writers around the globe.

Perhaps you and J should write a paper together. You can call it: Facts? Who Cares. It's who SAYS it that matters.

It certainly explains your "cognitive method".

Posted by: davesax | December 7, 2006 08:47 PM

Fences? Fences! What are those tall things ringing America's southern border? The Mexicans on the other side are not sending over suicide bombers nor rockets into American towns and cities. I have to say it. Those who fall for Carter's book are either active or latent anti-Semites.

Posted by: Frank | December 7, 2006 08:58 PM

Jafry says:

"if you have any basic knowledge of history you will find out that Arabs and other Muslims protected Jews... The Hatred started only after the creation of Israel in 1948 on Arab Land."

Jafry, the Muslim Arab Riots against the Jews of Palestine were instigated by the Mufti in 1929, and the Mufti expressed his solidarity with Hitler in 1937.

And Jews lived as dhimmis under the Muslims for centuries. During that time, they had to pay special taxes, wear different clothing, etc. It was not an equal relationship.

My basic knowledge of history is intact, and when it isn't, I just do a Google search.

Yours, on the other hand, is sorely deficient.

Posted by: davesax | December 7, 2006 09:01 PM

Well, guys, it's been fun.

Until next time, have a blast hanging out here.

You certainly feel at home in this place.

Shalom

Posted by: Davesax | December 7, 2006 09:03 PM

Dave, david, davidsax, (this isnt actually the illusive saxyboy, is it?)

Yes, Yes, I know, it must be very tiring business trying to constantly obfuscate the truth. Your attmepts at subtle marginalizations ("you just dont have the time to spend here that I seem to"?) are as tired and lame now as they were the first time you started using them, which was almost immediately. I think you should know that most posters here see directly through that stuff and it makes you look even less credible and intellectually desperate.


Let me be even more clear. There are many people who disagree with Carter, most of them are so terrified to hear any criticism of Israel that they reflexivley comdemn any and all who oppose their rigid and unrealistic views . Must I read every book or website of each? If I don't, am I then not somehow able to form very basic judgements about what is right and wrong? I think not.

You said that you were not Pro Settlement.

So how would you describe the settlements in terms of their impact on the palestinians and if you disagree with Carters assessment, how then do you see them from a moral and political perspective. What is their impact on US security, from your POV? Is their existance fair to the Palestinians? Are they in any way Justifiable, even in light of the fact that they are condemned, as was South African Apartheid, by virtually almost every single nation on Earth?

I realize that you may be too worn out to answer, but ponder these questions as the guilt of trying to create intellectual cover for a system that is in many ways more brutal than apartheid ever was weighs upon your conscience.

In the mean time, I am in awe of the fact that you were able to write so much about allegations that were never actually once stated by Stein or yourself, but only REFERED to. IE Carters wrong, but you can't really say how. You just insist that Stein (a very inconsequential source when compared to a man who was POTUS, and sat on top of the US intel information pyramid)
must just be believed. Rubbish. Absolute Rubbish.

J

Posted by: J | December 7, 2006 09:57 PM

Why are we suprised? When other nations of the world banned arms sales and trade with South Africa, Israel sold them arms and exchanged information on "crowd control". It has always amazed me how sad human nature is. Europeans fleeing religious and political persecution come to this land and destroy the native people. American founders who preached that all men are equal and established a country based on freedom-would hold slaves. The blacks who migrated to Liberia to escape slavery turned around and enslaved the africans when they arrived. The communist revolutionaries who wanted to escape the oppression of the Czar end up killing millions. African leaders who wanted to throw of the yoke of colonialism have given their people nothing but corruption and poverty. Why would the holocaust survivors be any more or less human? We are a sick lot.

Posted by: A. Harden | December 7, 2006 10:10 PM

One must be careful not to give too much credence to a politician who is not in the mainstream of even his own Democratic Party. I think it is clear that Israel's interests and US interests are indivisable. To attempt a palestinian solution that does not fully meet Israel's objectives is not only a betrayl of an important ally in the Middle East, but a betrayl of everything this nation stands for.

These comments apply equally to the Iraq Study Group recommendations which seems to link peace in the middle east with resolution of the palestinian issues. One has to keep the two issues decoupled. President Bush has recognized that. Let us hope the Democratic congress goes along with that.

Posted by: Oscar Mayer | December 7, 2006 10:38 PM

Mr davesax,
You quoted only one example of some crazy
mufti inciting Muslims to kill jews in 1929.I want you to give me one example when
Arabs and Muslims have killed Innocent
Jews on a mass scale like the Europeans did.English(1292),Rusians,Spanish(1492) and
Germans banished and Killed Jews on large
scale.Arabs and Turks gave Jews asylum and
also appointed them in high positions.
Can you deny this?
Muslims and Jews are very close people.
All Jewish prophets are Mulims' prophets too.During Crusades Europeans christians killed not only Innocent Muslims but they
also killed the Jews.This showed that Muslim amd Jews were living together in peace.If Israel goes back to pre 1967 border every community will again live in
peace, otherwise we will see endless wars and
bloodshed for centuries.Perhaps Israelis
have chosen the SAMSON's option.

Posted by: jafry | December 7, 2006 10:47 PM

Ken Stein's loyalty is with Israel, not the US, and he is not interested in the truth. When it comes between the truth and Israel, Stein chooses Israel and attacks Jimmy Carter, one of the great men of our time. Jimmy Carter is more than an ex-president; he is a holy man. Carter has devoted his life since leaving office to help the poor rather than go to the speaking circuit making millions.

Unfortunately, the Jewish lobby does not like honest sincere people like Carter because they cannot be easily corrupted. Today, Carter spoke out the truth, so predictably the Jewish lobby attacked him.

The Jewish lobby loves corrupt politicians like Hillary Clinton, Dick Cheney, and many others who can be purchased in the open market. These crooks are promoted in the media as "promising", "popular",etc., while Carter is attacked as a Kook or a leftwing looney.

Posted by: Bill | December 7, 2006 10:58 PM

Davesax:

Thank you for shedding light on your "cognitive method" by picking up one sentence out of my post and using it out of context to go on your own "rant" against me.
I never questioned your own intellect, or for that matter that of Stein's, but your condescending and demeaning comments do reflect upon your own intentions at running loops around the original question of the viability of the settlements and browbeating those posters who refuse to play your little game.

Going back to the contortions you performed with my post to come to the conclusions you did, I'll attempt to repeat my arguments with a tad more lucidity for you.

1. Its Stein's word against Carters. If he is going to accuse anyone of plagiarism and fabrication then he has the burden of proving his allegations. You keep mentioning his notes and like I said earlier, they could be fabricated, incomplete or selective. "Until such claims are proven, in a court of law, accepted by the publisher as valid... whatever, we should at the very least extend to Carter that so very American principle of "innocent until proven guilty"

2. About being emotional, and I did say that being emotional about a particular subject is not necessarily bad, I suggested that it COULD compromise your objectivity and I believe it did with Stein because of the manner of his criticism and the complete lack of any evidence and/or facts to refute Carters book (yes yes I know he is coming out with a rebuttal, but as they say, "the proof is in the pudding" so we shall see). You must also admit that his "resignation", accusations of plagiarism, fabrication etc. are somewhat extreme, especially if, as you stated, they obviously respected each other enough to work together.

In any case, time will tell whether Stein's allegations have any credibility. Till then, and until he provides his "point by point" rebuttal, there is no reason to give this man any more attention.

Posted by: Zain | December 7, 2006 11:04 PM

J
"There are many people who disagree with Carter, most of them are so terrified to hear any criticism of Israel that they reflexivley comdemn any and all who oppose their rigid and unrealistic views." So if someone disagrees with Carter, their views must be rigid and unrealistic? The topic of this blog makes Carter, his book and its accuracy, his views, his critics and their views all fair game. Pointing out problems with points in posts is part of the discussion. While you don't need to read everyone, dismissing critics because YOU think they are "very inconsequential" sounds like you are ducking the questions.

Being a POTUS does not put you at the top of the information pyramid - it allows you to get all the information if you so desire. But its really what you do with the info that is key. Carter was POTUS over 25 years ago - a lot has happened since then. If your theory is that the POTUS knows best, then Bush should be your man since he has all the current information.

A. Harden
Well that's a rather depressing "glass half empty" look at things. I would just say that the revolutionary idea of "all men are created equal" is a relatively new thought in our history. It was before its time (and it might still be).

Posted by: Dave! | December 7, 2006 11:20 PM

Going back to something Carter said, about there not being enough discourse in the U.S about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. I believe he was referring to a lack of qualitative discourse. The media reports rockets being fired from Gaza and the tanks being sent into Gaza, viewers make a few appropriate noises of shock/sympathy and a few snide remarks about how "they're going to be fighting for ever over there" but not many people bother to dissect the contentious issues, or their legal, ethical and moral implications, if negotiations were to start between the two sides again.

If I understand correctly the settlements in the West Bank, that Israel wanted to retain, were the reason behind Arafat rejecting the Camp David accords. The plan proposed to him would have left intact, and in Israeli control, the largest settlements and the roads that connected them together and to Israel. This would have cut the West Bank into pieces and essentially replicated the conditions and restrictions the Palestinians suffer from now. How could anyone accept such an agreement, and how could anyone trust the sincerity of those who proposed such a solution?

Posted by: Zain | December 7, 2006 11:21 PM

Bill

Jimmy Carter has done a lot with helping the poor since he left office. But he has done a lot more meddling in world and specifically US negotiations and policies. He is not the president anymore. His time was up over 25 years ago. If he just stuck to helping the poor, that would be a lot more helpful to the country and world.

Dick Cheney may be described as a lot of things by the media but "promising" and "popular" are not on the list.

Posted by: Dave! | December 7, 2006 11:32 PM

"To attempt a palestinian solution that does not fully meet Israel's objectives is not only a betrayl of an important ally in the Middle East, but a betrayl of everything this nation stands for."

Are making the argument that a final resolution to the conflict, even if it be bereft of any semblance of being ethical, moral or legal, should be accepted as long as it meets Israel's demands?

Are you suggesting that the status quo, with millions of Palestinians living miserable lives under occupation in what amount to slums continue because Israel does not think the time is right to negotiate?

History has already provided us the answer to the "solution" of let the Israelis figure it out on their own terms. The situation is far worse than it was before and, with a potential nuclear Iran on the horizon, the stakes for the people of the region are much higher.

The Israelis have failed to obtain peace by the means you suggest. It is time for them to respect the multiple security council resolutions that have been passed and withdraw to their pre 1967 borders and dismantle their settlements. The Palestinians have compromised enough by sacrificing a whole generation to occupation and by accepting Israels retention of more land than was given it at its creation.

Posted by: Zain | December 7, 2006 11:41 PM

Zain
"The media reports rockets being fired from Gaza and the tanks being sent into Gaza, viewers make a few appropriate noises of shock/sympathy and a few snide remarks about how "they're going to be fighting for ever over there"..."
Well those pretty much are the facts which is what the media is supposed to report. I guess that it is true most Americans don't spend their time analyzing the issues in depth. But then, understanding of complex issues of the Middle East by people in middle America won't solve anything. Peace will come when both sides want or need it. And i am not sure that the term "snide" should be used to describe something that has been a fact for thousands of years.

Posted by: | December 7, 2006 11:47 PM

Jimmy Carter may be "meddling" in world affairs, Darfur is burning, Muslim societies are falling apart from deep rooted maladies that will take generations to heal, there is a gentleman in Korea who likes having a story of him throwing acorns, at invading American soldiers, turn into grenades as he single handedly defeats entire armies, ...yes we should all be concerned, but as my mother would say, "none of that has anything to do with the price of tea in China" (or maybe it does now with globalisation and all...). The concern still remains that illegal Israeli settlements and its continued occupation of Arab lands, despite security council resolutions to the contrary, remain a hurdle in any long lasting meaningful peace. How and when will this issue be resolved?

The Arab league offered full peace and recognition to Israel in exchange for precisely that. Israel refused. Millions of people still under occupation while this country's greed dashed hopes for a settlement.

Posted by: Zain | December 7, 2006 11:54 PM

Zain
I may disagree with you on most things but to your credit, you type them up faster than anyone.

"The Palestinians have compromised enough by sacrificing a whole generation to occupation and by accepting Israels retention of more land than was given it at its creation." The Israelis have compromised enough by sacrificing a whole generation to the fear and terror of suicide bombers and rocket attacks and by having to continually defend itself against attacks from its neighbors since the day it was created. I guess when the starting point of negotiations is to wipe Israel off the map, one could consider these compromises.

Posted by: Dave! | December 7, 2006 11:58 PM

The great thing about Carters book and subsequent interviews, Followed by the ISGs recomendations leaning in the direction of pushing Israel towards withdrawl, is that the Lobby is beginning to seem as desperate and obvious as the Neo Cons they backed, who have generally been sent packing.

It could be that the Lobby is in for tough times as the tide begins to turn against them, and the politicians begin to fear suffering the political fate of those who would drag us down the road to perdition (Rumsfeld, Bolton, Feith, Perle, Ect.) more than they do the reprisals or decrease in renumerations that AIPAC and the rest of the lobby use to influence our national security decisions.

J

Posted by: J | December 8, 2006 12:07 AM

Zain
"The Arab league offered full peace and recognition to Israel in exchange for precisely that. Israel refused." Would this be after the first, second or third time that the Arab league tried to rid the area of Israel? And it's not the Arab league that's important - it's the Palestinians who have to make that offer. They can't because the Palestinian people, in their infinite wisdom, elected a party to run their government that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Posted by: Dave! | December 8, 2006 12:07 AM

Jafry:

"If Israel goes back to pre 1967 border every community will again live in
peace, "

No it won't. The Sudanese, who are being slaughtered by Arab Muslims would disagree with you. And so would Salmun Rushdie, who had to live in a hole for seven years.

And there are plenty examples of Muslims killing infidels all over the world. In Thailand. England. France.

And there are more examples of Muslims killing each other. Now in Iraq. Years ago in the Iraq and Iran war. A million Muslims. Dead.

Is that all Israel's fault, too?

"Arabs and Turks gave Jews asylum and also appointed them in high positions.
Can you deny this?"

It's true that there were times when Muslims tolerated Jews more than Christians did and appointed them to high positions. Relations weren't always as bad as they are now. You have a point, there.

But I don't see how that's relevant to Carter saying Israel is guilty of apartheid, and I don't see how it changes the fact that Jews were taxed more and ghettoized, forced to wear different clothes and prohibited from defending themselves from Muslim insults by Law, and were subject to harsh punishment and discrimination as well.

If I said to you, "Well, we in the northeast of America were really nicer to blacks in the 50's than the south was so you can't say we were discriminating against them," you'd say I was a racist ignoramus. And you'd be right.

"All Jewish prophets are Mulims' prophets too."

I'm aware that you think our Prophets are Islam's prophets. Unfortunately, that's been used as an excuse for Muslims to claim dominion over other faiths, build mosques on top of Churches and synagogues, etc.

It's not something that many Christians and Jews in the Western world are comfortable with, Jafry. Read the news. Look around you. There's a lot of tension between Islam and Christianity.

Is that Israel's fault, too?

And that "one crazy man" led a whole people and formed Einsatzgruppen to exterminate the Jews of Palestine.'

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20060414/ai_n16169122

So, in summation:

You claimed there was no hostility before the war of Independence. And I've showed you that you're wrong.

You've said that if Israel would retreat to the '67 borders, all the other problems would go away.

You're wrong.

I made my point and backed it up.

No name calling. Just facts.

I expect you to try and hold yourself to those standards, as well.

J.-

"Rubbish. Absolute Rubbish."

J, you can spit out this stuff, but the truth is, I've noticed some back peddling from you in your posts. And that shows you've learned more than you're willing to admit.

You are no longer claiming that Stein is part of a Lobby, because you couldn't back it up.

You have not challenged my links about Baker and Bush being prevented from cutting off funds from AIPAC.

You are no longer acting as if you know the dynamics of Israeli politics and I don't.

And you are no longer claiming that the Jewish community, of which I'm an active member, is a monolith without different opinions about Israel.

So, you can kick and scream all you want. But I take that as a mark of progress.

And another thing: I didn't say anything about whether or not Stein's accusations will turn out to be true. I said he made them, and you said he had no credibility. I merely demonstrated that he does have credibility. And I did so successfully.

"IE Carters wrong, but you can't really say how."

J, this is tiring. I already made a point that it's impossible to say that the Palestinians had fair, democratic elections yet claim they are living under apartheid. The two are mutually exclusive J. There were no free and democratic elections in Apartheid South Africa.

Carter also doesn't know basic history. He claims Israel attacked Jordan first in the Six Day War. Wrong. Jordan attacked Israel first. He also claims that all Palestinians have committed 100% to peace. Wrong. Just last week, Hamas issued another declaration that they will never recognize Israel's right to exist.

Now, you told me you were all ears. So far, you haven't demonstrated that is the case. Take this opportunity to rebut my points about Carter's bogus claims above. Give me a link showing that he's right when he says that Hamas is 100% committed to peace. Show me a reputable scholar that says Israel started war against Jordan. Show me a source or evidence that says that Apartheid = fair, democratic elections.

Give me something other than contemptuous toss offs. Teach me something.

Zain:

"You must also admit that his "resignation", accusations of plagiarism, fabrication etc. are somewhat extreme, especially if, as you stated, they obviously respected each other enough to work together."

What's so extreme about it? This type of stuff happens in the world of ideas all the time, when conflicts occur. Hitchens used to be a close friend of Said. He broke off with him. So did Salmon Rushdie.

What's so unique about it?

"In any case, time will tell whether Stein's allegations have any credibility. Till then, and until he provides his "point by point" rebuttal, there is no reason to give this man any more attention."

Good point, Zain. I mean that sincerely. You made a fair statement. You backpeddled from the "Israeli shill" canard, which shows you understand that it was just name calling, and did nothing to back your case that Stein has no credibility...

Instead you've made the wise point that on this issue, only time will tell.

And you're right.

See, I'm actually a very reasonable and will acknowledge when the statements are honest and direct. And you made the first direct, sensible statement I've read all night. Free of bigotry. Just good old common sense.

"If I understand correctly the settlements in the West Bank, that Israel wanted to retain, were the reason behind Arafat rejecting the Camp David accords. The plan proposed to him would have left intact, and in Israeli control, the largest settlements and the roads that connected them together and to Israel. "

You do not understand correctly. According to Dennis Ross, who was there, AND Ehud Barak, who was there, AND Prince Bandar, who was also there, Israel offered 97% of the West Bank, free of Cantons. Arafat rejected it because he demanded a full right of return for refugees. He made no counteroffer, walked away, and the rest is bloody history.

Now, the article about Bandar is in the New Yorker. Dennis Ross wrote about it in his book, and Barak spoke about it in an interview with Leftist Israeli historian, Benny Morris.

All of this information is online and can be found doing some simple searches.

Goodnight. Hope you learned something.


Posted by: davesax, saxyboy, david | December 8, 2006 12:45 AM

it is unfortunate that the only thing the israelis learnt from the holocast was to perpetuate a holocast on the palestinians themselves...Carter may have been incompetent as a president but israel should remember that he is the only one who managed to give them peace on their western border, which they promptly replied with unprecedented violence on the people of Gaza......?

Posted by: asad | December 8, 2006 04:36 AM

I am Asian. I grew up under occupied Philippines by the Japanese. Any of you ever lived in an occupied land which really is your own country? If you did, you will have more compassion for any people who went through the same thing. I am female, and I married a Jewish American.His religion does not make a difference in his being human and being honorable. I admire Mr. Carter. He is an honorable man. He states what is necessary for peace. I agree with him. The conflict is only about LAND. Give back what is taken. That is just right. If the Palestinians were to be given all they ask for as their right, do it. Then we can begin somewhere.
If somebody can come back to this life and tell us how it is to die, we might be more humble and giving. It is a truth, we all end up the same way. Can't we make this life good and rewarding for all? Or attempt to help make it so?

Posted by: Kanin | December 8, 2006 07:51 AM

Dave!:
"And it's not the Arab league that's important - it's the Palestinians who have to make that offer."

The Palestinians sent Farouq Kaddoumi as a representative of the PLO, and they signed off on this proposal. This was for the most part identical to what Arafat was demanding anyway; full withdrawal from the occupied areas, a return to the 1967 borders and a "right of return" for the refugees (though it does not seem clear whether that refers to return to a new Palestinian state or Israel).
So I fail to see why you would think that this proposal did not have the backing of the Palestinians. Once again, if it was peace Israel was looking for, then the opportunity was there for the taking. If Israel thought the offer was insincere, then they could have called the bluff by engaging in dialog over the framework presented at the summit and embarrassed the Arabs. They chose to outright reject it, IMO, displaying their own insincerity towards peace, or at least a peace where they could not retain occupied land.
"They can't because the Palestinian people, in their infinite wisdom, elected a party to run their government that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel."

They had not elected that party in 2002. The PLO and Yassir Arafat had the overwhelming support of the Palestinians at that time; there was one leader and one party to negotiate with. You cannot reduce the dynamics behind Hamas's election to one principle in their "manifesto". Corruption, fatigue with the occupation, and the loss of the one leader a majority of Palestinians (correctly or not) believed could deliver freedom had a lot to do with Hamas's rise.

Their election actually reinforces my belief that a lack of progress on conflict and the continuing occupation will only radicalize larger numbers of Palestinians and make it harder for any party or organization in the occupied territories to control the violence and crime. The socio economic conditions are becoming quite similar to Iraq in that you have widespread poverty, lack of infrastructure, services and security. The educated class and the technocrats are in exodus. While the Shia-Sunni sectarian tensions are absent, there exists the potent threat of the continued conflict between Fatah and Hamas spilling into a larger conflict within the society.

I agree that Hamas's attitude is unhelpful, but I also believe that Israel could marginalize them by working with the groups that do want peace and in principle agreeing to withdraw from the occupied territories per international law and Security Council resolutions, when the conditions are appropriate. Peace is what the majority of Palestinians want and they need to see that there is a specific goal post they can aim for .

The onus is on Israel, as the occupying force, and the overwhelming regional power, to respect international law and resolutions (just as it expects the Arabs to respect the same U.N's decision to bring about its creation), to make the first move and offer the Palestinians, and the Arabs, the "carrot" for putting their house in order.

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 09:43 AM

For true, lasting peace in the future, I cannot see how Israel can hold on to occupied lands and ask for recognition. Even the Allies, after the horrors perpetrated by the Germans, did not hold on to German or Japanese territory in the long term.

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 09:47 AM

Apart Heid -- thank you for making "Mahatma" Mandela's Memo part of this discussion.

Kanin -- the humanity reflected by your note moves me profoundly. Reminds me of the great Rabelais' hero, the giant Grandgousier (by no means a pacifist), offering to "return" even more than what was taken, so as to avoid a silly war and see his people enjoy a lasting peace.

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 8, 2006 09:57 AM

Davesax:

I learn something new all the time, but thank you for your concern.

I disagree with that assessment of the proposal from the Israelis at Camp David; though I should have probably made clear that that was not the only sticking point. What my research has shown is that the Palestinians did believe that the initial Israeli plan offered Palestinian "enclaves" surrounded and separated by Israeli territory and roads. The final proposal, negotiated by Clinton, was supposed to have done away with that, but even then apparently no "map" was actually presented to the Palestinian side to illustrate the changes.

Negotiations are only successful in an atmosphere of trust and with the distrust created by the original plan, along with no progress on the status of Jerusalem and right to return, I find it understandable why the Palestinians backed out of the negotiations; though I would have supported an extension in the summit indefinitely until a solution was hammered out and that perhaps illustrates a lack of statesmanship in Arafat.

There is disagreement on this of course, as there is on anything related to the conflict and that again points to how muddied and muddled the negotiations and the atmosphere surrounding them had become.

The territorial issues, IMO, are the easiest to resolve, provided Israel respect international law and the U.N, and should be agreed to by Israel even in the absence of a negotiating partner. What need to be brought to the table are the conditions that would lead to the implementation of that return of land, and the issues of Jerusalem and the refugees.

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 10:03 AM

A little snippet I posted in another topic, but is quite relevant to my opinion that the territorial issue should be the easier part to resolve; at least from a moral and legal standpoint.

And adding some more Israeli perspective to the settlement issue:

"Israeli minister draws the line on West Bank map"

"JERUSALEM: Maps in new editions of Israeli textbooks should no longer show the West Bank as part of Israel, Education Minister Yuli Tamir said on Tuesday, ordering a line drawn between the occupied territory and the Jewish state. "If we don't show these borders, we will turn out very confused children," Tamir, a member of the centre-left Labour Party, told Army Radio. Tamir said maps appearing in some textbooks don't show the pre-1967 war boundary, known as the "Green Line", leading pupils to believe the West Bank is formally part of Israel. She said "this problem should be rectified" in new editions used by the state school system. "You cannot expect children to understand history if portions are excised from school texts," said Tamir, a founder of Peace Now, a left-wing Israeli group opposed to Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Emily Amrusy, a spokeswoman for the Jewish settlers' YESHA council, called on school principals to defy Tamir, accusing her of "trying to sever a fifth of Israel's area from the maps". reuters

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 10:40 AM

To All,

Heres Carters Response in the LA Times.
He's a great Man.

To Saxyboy, (David, DavidSax, ect)(who has in the past, if this is saxyboy, used racist language against a poster called Karim when challenged in a way that his limited world view could not deal with, refering to him as a Camel Jockey and making other truly offensive racist remarks)

Read Walt and Mearsheimers "Israel Lobby" for a defintion of what the lobby is. Stein can certainly be considered part of it, as can you, as well as Pat Robertson, Dennis Ross, and a many writers (and apparently editors) here at WAPO, (Jefferson excluded). Get back to me after you are up to speed.

Virtually every one else here understands exactly what the lobby is and what that means to the ongoing threat to national security and the quashing of the debate about how to either fix the situation in the terrories, or extracate ourselves from comlicity with Israel for allowing that horrendous disaster to continue.

In the mean time, heres Carters response to current events;

J

_________________________________________

Speaking frankly about Israel and Palestine
Jimmy Carter says his recent book is drawing knee-jerk accusations of anti-Israel bias.


By Jimmy Carter, JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," published last month. He is scheduled to sign books Monday at Vroman's in Pasadena.
December 8, 2006


I SIGNED A CONTRACT with Simon & Schuster two years ago to write a book about the Middle East, based on my personal observations as the Carter Center monitored three elections in Palestine and on my consultations with Israeli political leaders and peace activists.

We covered every Palestinian community in 1996, 2005 and 2006, when Yasser Arafat and later Mahmoud Abbas were elected president and members of parliament were chosen. The elections were almost flawless, and turnout was very high -- except in East Jerusalem, where, under severe Israeli restraints, only about 2% of registered voters managed to cast ballots.

ADVERTISEMENT
The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations -- but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.

It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. Very few would ever deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or even Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents. What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land.

With some degree of reluctance and some uncertainty about the reception my book would receive, I used maps, text and documents to describe the situation accurately and to analyze the only possible path to peace: Israelis and Palestinians living side by side within their own internationally recognized boundaries. These options are consistent with key U.N. resolutions supported by the U.S. and Israel, official American policy since 1967, agreements consummated by Israeli leaders and their governments in 1978 and 1993 (for which they earned Nobel Peace Prizes), the Arab League's offer to recognize Israel in 2002 and the International Quartet's "Roadmap for Peace," which has been accepted by the PLO and largely rejected by Israel.

The book is devoted to circumstances and events in Palestine and not in Israel, where democracy prevails and citizens live together and are legally guaranteed equal status.

Although I have spent only a week or so on a book tour so far, it is already possible to judge public and media reaction. Sales are brisk, and I have had interesting interviews on TV, including "Larry King Live," "Hardball," "Meet the Press," "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," the "Charlie Rose" show, C-SPAN and others. But I have seen few news stories in major newspapers about what I have written.

Book reviews in the mainstream media have been written mostly by representatives of Jewish organizations who would be unlikely to visit the occupied territories, and their primary criticism is that the book is anti-Israel. Two members of Congress have been publicly critical. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for instance, issued a statement (before the book was published) saying that "he does not speak for the Democratic Party on Israel." Some reviews posted on Amazon.com call me "anti-Semitic," and others accuse the book of "lies" and "distortions." A former Carter Center fellow has taken issue with it, and Alan Dershowitz called the book's title "indecent."

Out in the real world, however, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I've signed books in five stores, with more than 1,000 buyers at each site. I've had one negative remark -- that I should be tried for treason -- and one caller on C-SPAN said that I was an anti-Semite. My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professors. I have been most encouraged by prominent Jewish citizens and members of Congress who have thanked me privately for presenting the facts and some new ideas.

The book describes the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine's citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank. An enormous imprisonment wall is now under construction, snaking through what is left of Palestine to encompass more and more land for Israeli settlers. In many ways, this is more oppressive than what blacks lived under in South Africa during apartheid. I have made it clear that the motivation is not racism but the desire of a minority of Israelis to confiscate and colonize choice sites in Palestine, and then to forcefully suppress any objections from the displaced citizens. Obviously, I condemn any acts of terrorism or violence against innocent civilians, and I present information about the terrible casualties on both sides.

The ultimate purpose of my book is to present facts about the Middle East that are largely unknown in America, to precipitate discussion and to help restart peace talks (now absent for six years) that can lead to permanent peace for Israel and its neighbors. Another hope is that Jews and other Americans who share this same goal might be motivated to express their views, even publicly, and perhaps in concert. I would be glad to help with that effort.

Posted by: J | December 8, 2006 12:20 PM

Zain:

"What my research has shown"

YOUR "research"? Have you spoken to Bandar, who was there? Uncovered something that he hasn't?

Or, are you simply saying that Bandar can't be trusted? And if so, why?

"is that the Palestinians did believe that the initial Israeli plan offered Palestinian "enclaves" surrounded and separated by Israeli territory and roads. The final proposal, negotiated by Clinton, was supposed to have done away with that, but even then apparently no "map" was actually presented to the Palestinian side to illustrate the changes."

I have no idea whether or not a "map" was drawn. Since when does drawing a "map" on a peace of paper become a prerequisite to having people negotiate peace?

Or maybe you think Arafat and Palestinians are so stupid that they have to have things presented to them visually? If so...all of this talking is pointless.

If that's what you believe, you really don't think very highly of Arabs, then. And if you really think that sending children to be suicide bombers, rather than to make a counter offer has helped the Palestinians, well, I can't argue with you. Except to say that the Palestinians are in a much worse position than they were in 2000.

If that's what you want for them, good on you.

Posted by: davesax | December 8, 2006 12:28 PM

I expect that Carter's book will soon be forgotten. The media has been very ressponsible in publishing reviews from individuals who understand the Israel position more clearly.

In perhaps another generation, the Palestinians will begin to accept reality and then we can have peace in the middle east. Israel can maintain the status quo until then, unless the United States abdicate its responsibilities to a loyal ally.

Posted by: Oscar Mayer | December 8, 2006 01:03 PM

J:

I'm really laughing now! You are so predictable! Is that the best you can do?

Congratulations. You did exactly what I thought you would. You actually typed in my name and did a search and pulled up the Karim kurfluful, after I said something to him when I thought he started blaming Mossad for the Suicide Bombings in Jordan.

I apologized to him for that. And he graciously accepted.

"Karim:

BTW, I apologize for my comment on that thread a couple of weeks ago where I made a racist slur. It was completely inappopropriate and low class."

"Saxyboy,

Its alright. I think you confused me with someone else. Never posted anything linking mossad to Jodan's bombings."

You can't even debate me head on, so you try and dig up dirt! You're no better than Stein is! LOL

Notice, you still haven't responded, with facts, to a SINGLE THING I'VE said here. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

I must say, I'm flattered that I've frustrated you so much, that you've actually taken the time out of your life, which mainly consists of hanging out here and obsessing about Israel, to try and dig up dirt on me! Well done!

Perhaps soon, you'll figure out my e-mail as well and drop me a line! I'd really love that...


Anyway, I have to go now and talk to my friends at AIPAC. Hell, with such a distinguished moniker as "J", it will be no problem for us LOBBY people to find out your true identity!

mwah mwah mwah!

Posted by: David | December 8, 2006 01:28 PM

J:

I reread your last post...oohhhh you really got me! I'm part of "The Lobby" now!

Ohhhh boy!

WE ARE COMING FOR YA...watch out!

HA HA HA!

Posted by: davesax | December 8, 2006 01:54 PM

Hi,

My name is Moishe Goldberg. I've been a member of The Lobby since 1948.

I just thought it would be fair to let everyone know that starting with J, I am compiling the URL and e-mail contacts of everyone on this message board and then sending you some Mind Control Matzoh ball mix.

Have a good day.

Posted by: Jewish Lobbyist | December 8, 2006 02:12 PM

Update:

Just wanted to let you all know that my organization, the Jewish Lobby, has successfully taken over the Emory Student Newspaper.

Here is an op-ed written by their staff.

-------------------------------------------

Ken Stein was once Jimmy Carter's go-to man for Middle East policy. As the first executive director of The Carter Center, Stein traveled to the Middle East with Carter to meet with dignitaries like Yasser Arafat and even authored a book with the former president about the conflict.

But in the past decade, relations between Carter and Stein, Emory's William Schatten professor of history and politics and director of the Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, have soured. As Carter has grown more vocal in his criticism of Israel, Stein has reduced his involvement in The Carter Center. On Tuesday, Stein resigned his position at The Center, severing his last official tie with the former president.

Stein's departure is a direct result of Carter's controversial new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. He alleges that Carter's book contains "factual errors, copied material not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments." Stein said he resigned from his position as a fellow at The Carter Center to distance himself from the book. "It's an issue of how history should be written," Stein said. "I had to distance myself from something that was coming close to me professionally."

Stein is not the only academic to take issue with the book. Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz called the book "ahistorical," while David Makovsky, the director of the Project on the Middle East Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he was "saddened" by the book's "many errors." Jewish organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center call Carter "a virtual spokesman for the Palestinian cause."

Although these criticisms seem damning, the only way Stein's claims can be corroborated is if he details specific factual inaccuracies. Once Stein does so, an investigation should be launched to determine whether his claims are correct. If they are, Carter should be held responsible for publishing inaccurate or plagiarized information.

Even a former president of the United States must not be above the University's academic standards.

The above staff editorials represent the majority opinion of The Emory Wheel Editorial Board.

http://media.www.emorywheel.com/media/storage/paper919/news/2006/12/08/Editorials/Our-Opinion.Carter.Under.Fire-2529499.shtml?sourcedomain=www.emorywheel.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com

Posted by: Moishe Goldberg | December 8, 2006 02:21 PM

The Media Lynching of Jimmy Carter
By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN

It seems Israel's "supporters" have conscripted me in their lynching of Jimmy Carter. Count me out. True, the historical part of Carter's book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, contains errors in that it repeats standard Israeli propaganda. However, Carter's analysis of the impasse in the "peace process" as well as his description of Israeli policy in the West Bank is accurate - and, frankly, that's all that matters.

A wag once said that there is no Pravda (Truth) in Izvestia (News) and no Izvestia in Pravda. The same can be said of our Pravda (The New York Times) and Izvestia (The Washington Post). Today both party organs ran feature stories trashing Carter using Kenneth Stein's resignation from the Carter Center as the hook. (I was sitting in the airport when this earth-shattering story came on CNN.) But like John Galt, many people must have wondered, Who (the hell) is Kenneth Stein? Stein wrote exactly one scholarly book on the Israel-Palestine conflict more than two decades ago (The Land Question in Palestine, 1984). Even in his heyday, Stein was a nonentity. When Joan Peters's hoax From Time Immemorial was published, I asked his opinion of it. He replied that it had "good points and bad points." Just like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Later Stein wrote a sick essay the main thesis of which was, "the Palestinian Arab community had been significantly prone to dispossession and dislocation before the mass exodus from Palestine began" - so the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 was really no big deal ("One Hundred Years of Social Change: The Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Probem," in Laurence Silberstein (ed.), New Perspectives on Israeli History, 1991).

The Pravda ( NYT) story was written by two reporters who seem to have made a beeline for the newsroom from their bat mitzvahs. They quote Stein to the effect that Carter's book is "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments". I doubt there's much to this. Most of the background material is Carter's reminiscences. Maybe he copied from Rosalyn's diary (she was his note taker). Then Pravda reports that "a growing chorus of academics...have taken issue with the book". Who do they name? Alan Dershowitz and David Makovsky. Makovsky is resident hack at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Israel Lobby's "think"-tank.

Pravda saw no irony in citing Dershowitz's expertise for a story on fabrication, falsification and plagiarism regarding a book on the Israel-Palestine conflict. As always, one can only be awed by the party discipline at our Pravda. It makes one positively wistful for the days when commissars quoted Stalin on linguistics.

Posted by: Joe | December 8, 2006 02:28 PM

Mr. Davesax,
I wanted you to give me one example when Arabs or other muslims have MURDERED Jews
on a massive scale like the Europeans did.
Their is violence in France, Spain and
England because of their active support of
Israel and U.S.A.You know what they are
doing in the whole of Middle East.
I did mention earlier that the whole world
is on fire because of the Israeli Occupation of West Bank and Gaza.
If there is no comprise,the future looks
very bleak to me.Sooner or later Israel
will have to withdraw to its pre 1967 border.It will have to honor U.N. resolution 242 and 338.It cannot go on
defying world opinion for ever with the help of U.S.A VETO.Sooner or later U.S.A
will get tired and stop its unconditional and Blind support of Israel.U.S.A is the only real friend Israel has left and Israel
is abusing our friendship.U.S.A. has suffered a lot because of its blind support
of Israel.
You might be noticing that enemies of Israel are also becomig stronger every day.
They will soon have Nuclear Bombs too.
History shows that you cannot fight for ever a massive group of people for ever.See what happened to France, Britain,Portugal and Spain,they were all kicked out of their colonies by the native people.Israel may be
intoxicated with its military superiorit now but
this is not going to last for ever.Other parties are catching up fast.
So forget about greater Israel and make
comprise and live in peace. Israel cannot
have both,piece of land and peace of mind.

Posted by: jafry | December 8, 2006 02:38 PM

"My most troubling experience has been the rejection of my offers to speak, for free, about the book on university campuses with high Jewish enrollment and to answer questions from students and professors." (President Jimmy Carter)--

That says it all! Yet it is by no means exceptional, in this kind of intellectual exercise.

Mike Meeropol, Professor of Economics, Western New England College, Springfield, MASS, seems to have encountered a similar reaction, after having Professor Noam Chomsky debate, at his college, on "Foreign Policy in the 1980s":

"I wrote a letter to the student newspaper in which I invited anyone on campus to peruse the transcript of the talk and identify any FACT, ARGUMENT or INTERPRETATION with which they disagreed. I promised that Professor Chomsky would respond to any and all arguments with his references.

NOT ONE PERSON RESPONDED -- despite the fact that in the discussion a week after Chomsky's debate with (former Ambassador William)Sullivan, there were many complaints about him." (see "Chomsky at Home Abroad", World Opinion Roundup, May 31, 2006; 2:20 PM ET)

I dare say I am beginning to think that "out in the real world", as President Carter says, what best establishes the quality of the humanism professed by great men such as President Carter and Professor Chomsky, is the list of their detractors, and the detail of how they go about slandering and vilifying those men, incapable as they are to provide sound substantial arguments in a rational discussion of their views.

As for nit pickers and other specialists on how to ensure an enlightening debate deviates from its course and aborts, I have concluded a long time ago that they are not worthy of anybody's attention.

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 8, 2006 02:39 PM

It amazes me that in our society of free speech, that this issue cannot be openly debated. Instead, brave individuals that dare to be outspoken & offer any option other than the current status quo and are tarred & feathered as a result. This tactic is typical of the uneducated to dish out an Ad hominem argument rather than contribute to constructive debate. Why can't opponents of this book stick to the issues at hand and address the specifics?

Take a look at the highly respected Professor John Mearsheimer at Chicago University who tried to stir the same discussion in his article "The Jewish Lobby" co-written with Stephen Walt of Harvard University. So controversial was the topic, that it had to be published in the London Review http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html This confirms the fact that Americans are unwilling to touch this topic. Not only was Mearsheimer personally attacked & called anti-semitic, but Harvard withdrew its association with the piece.

Posted by: Lisa | December 8, 2006 03:31 PM

Lisa-

I agree with you. The Israel lobby attacked John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt for publishing the article Israel Lobby.

There is no debate in the US media regarding Israel's illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine because the media is owned or controlled by Israel's surrogates. They do not want Americans to hear about the atrocities lest the Americans demand their government take action against Israel. What we hear is this propaganda that Israel is fighting America's war on terrorism and that Israel is our "ally." As Mearsheimer and Walt correctly pointed out, we have a terrorism problem precisely because of our support of Israel's atrocities.

Osama Bin Laden has repeatedly said that he has attacked us on 9/11 because of our support of Israel's occupation. But the Zionist lobby does not want us to hear or debate this matter. They want us to believe that "We have been attacked because of our freedom."

YEAH, RIGHT. The Arabs attacked us because they hate our freedom. Arab boys get up in the morning, tell their mommas "Momma, I read the Bill of Rights, which makes me hate America. So, I am going to be a suicide bomber."

They hate us because of our policies, primarily our support of Israel which allows that country to occupy Palestinian land.

Finally, Jimmy Carter, a courageous American, has written about it. The Zionist lobby is mad, and so it has attacked Carter.

Let us all congratulate President Carter for speaking out and making us all proud.

Dear President Carter, how much I wish you were in Whitehouse today (instead of the idiot we have now), so America would not be in this mess in Iraq.

Posted by: Jim | December 8, 2006 03:46 PM

Jafry:

"I wanted you to give me one example when Arabs or other muslims have MURDERED Jews
on a massive scale like the Europeans did."

You already made this point. I suppose you keep saying it over and over because you have nothing more to contribute.

Muslims are committing 95% of the terrorism in the world today. Muslims killed 3000 people on 9/11. Muslims are the ones slaughtering people in Sudan. Muslims are the ones blowing up trains in Europe. Muslims are the ones sentencing women to death when they are raped.

And more Muslims are killing each other every day than Jews or anyone else killing Muslims.

Who cares what Muslims did or didn't do 60 years ago?

"Their is violence in France, Spain and
England because of their active support of
Israel and U.S.A.You know what they are
doing in the whole of Middle East.
I did mention earlier that the whole world
is on fire because of the Israeli Occupation of West Bank and Gaza"!

This is the problem with the Muslim mentality. You guys blame the Jews for everything. You can't take any responsibility for your own actions. It's so tired and childish.

"They will soon have Nuclear Bombs too."

Yes. Maybe a grandmother will strap one to her back and blow herself up in Gaza so she can be with Allah in heaven. Then, Muslims all over the world can dance in the streets and burn churches and synagogues, chanting Allah Akbar.

Allah Akbar to you, my friend!

Posted by: davesax | December 8, 2006 04:36 PM

Another issue that contributes to the Middle East crisis is that the U.S. makes itself a target of Islamic extremists by allowing religion (purposefully?) dictate our foreign policy. Until we become secluar within the realm of politics, we will continue to be a target of extremists. I believe that the current administration puposefully provokes Muslims by using phrases that conjure up bad blood over the crusades. Or, are they really THAT stupid & insensitive? So once again, this boils down to religion. Sadly.

Posted by: Lisa | December 8, 2006 04:57 PM

This is Stein's website - it does not take a genius to see where his funding comes from - and people wonder why he attacked Mr Carter's book.

http://www.ismi.emory.edu/


Keep up the good work Mr Carter - we need to take back our government from the ocntrol of these fasczionists....

Posted by: Angus | December 8, 2006 05:02 PM

Joe:

Nice Try.

Finkelstein's silly tirade is meaningless. He obviously didn't do some basic web searching before spitting it out, because Stein's trashing of From Time Immemorial is right on the internet.

http://www.ismi.emory.edu/Articles/commentaryOct86.pdf and Finkelstein's

Says Stein:

"In the end, there is little evidence of scholarly fidelity in Miss Peter's method...Her book is shoddy both in its workmanship and its attention to nuance."

Doesn't sound like Stein claiming that it has "good points and bad points." As a matter of fact, he doesn't claim at all that it had good points, like Finkelstein said.

Finkelstein also says:

"Stein wrote exactly one scholarly book on the Israel-Palestine conflict more than two decades ago (The Land Question in Palestine, 1984). Even in his heyday, Stein was a nonentity."

Huh? On Stein's website, there are no less than 5 books he has written, and links to dozens of articles, lectures, and commentary.

If Stein was a nonentity, than what does that say about Carter?

C'mon, you gotta do better than that.

Posted by: davesax | December 8, 2006 05:10 PM

Angus:

"it does not take a genius to see where his funding comes from - and people wonder why he attacked Mr Carter's book."

Funding? Funding for what? What on earth are you talking about? He's a professor at Emory. Emory pays his salary. What the heck does that have to do with anything?

And by the way, it's widely known that the Carter Center is funded heavily by Arab sources. By your logic, Carter cannot be trusted, since he receives money from one side.

Thanks for clearing that up.

NOw, I have to go hang out with my fellow lobbyests and talk about J's fate over Shabbat Dinner!

Shabbat Shalom ,boys and girls!

Posted by: David | December 8, 2006 05:16 PM

so saxyboy - for someone who keeps questioning others as to why they spend so much time on this blog you sure spend lots of time here!!

so why the moniker change anyway? is it because as saxyboy you got your *ss handed to you over and over again by J - Karim - and Notice?

Interesting now that you go after J - isn't that from the "Lobbyist Handbook" page 103 - "when you can't attack the message anymore go after the messenger" ...sort of a match with what is happening with Mr Carter...

As for Stein - you don't have to see a hand sticking out of someones *ss to know they're a puppet.


this is from his site...

"Partner institutions include: the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and its William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum; the southeastern regional offices of the Anti-Defamation League; the American Jewish Committee; the Israel-American Chamber of Commerce; the Consulate of Israel for Southeastern United States; and the Association for Israel Studies."

happy shabat

Posted by: Angus | December 8, 2006 05:26 PM

Davesax:

I did not question any of the opinions of the sources you referenced as placing the blame on Arafat. I merely suggested that my own (limited) research turned up analysis and opinion that suggested that, at the very least, there was a lot of confusion and mistrust in the Palestinian camp about what exactly Israel was offering. But this is beside the point. Like I said earlier, there is disagreement amongst historians and commentators on almost everything regarding the conflict and while I would love to "compare notes" with you over the issue (not that I expect either one of us to convince the other), I have finals next week and just not enough time right now to go dig up all the books, material and do the research to counter your own points (maybe if you are still around after the 13th).

The one positive aspect of your assertion, that Israel offered a unified single entity comprising 97 percent of the West Bank, is that it signifies an understanding in the Israeli government that to achieve true peace it has to return occupied territory. That is the crux of the question facing us today. Will Israel respect international law and resolutions, and both dismantle settlements and return occupied Arab territory for peace? The Arabs joined together to offer that peace in 2002. Syria through the Baker-Hamilton commission has indicated that it can reign in Hamas and Hizbullah and exert enough influence on them to make them recognize Israel, provided Israel starts negotiations to return the Golan. The opportunities, if Israel is really serious about having peace and it cannot be if it insists upon retaining occupied land and settlements illegally, are still there.

There were other points I raised about how Hamas could be marginalized by Israel and how it does not necessarily even need a negotiating partner to announce that it will comply with international law, leaving the timetable of implementation conditional to the disarming/recognition of Israel by all Arab groups and governments (the governments already on board, going by Beirut 2002). I am more interested in hearing what you have to say about those, more than who is to blame for a failed summit that is history.

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 08:58 PM

For the record.

« HOW CAN THE VICTIMS OF OPPRESSION OPPRESS ANOTHER PEOPLE? », address given by Dr Desmond Tutu at a conference on « Ending the Occupation » held in Boston, Mass. Church Times, April 26, 2002.
http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/zionism/apartheid_tutu3.htm


"... I believe Israel has a right to secure borders.

What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence.

...

We know of the horrific attacks on refugee camps, towns, villages, and Palestinian institutions. We don't know the exact truth because Israelis won't let the media in. What are they hiding?

Perhaps more sinister is why is there no outcry in the United States about the Israeli siege in the West Bank? ... we see no scenes of what the tanks are doing to Palestinian homes and people.

...

My heart aches. I say, why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about the downtrodden?

Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice.

...

But you know as well as I do that, somehow, the Israeli government is placed on a pedestal [in the US], and to criticise it is to be immediately dubbed anti-Semitic, as if the Palestinians were not Semitic.

...

People are scared in this country [the US] to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful. Well, so what? This is God's world. For goodness sake, this is God's world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosovic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.

Injustice and oppression will never prevail.

...

We should put out a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel, to the Palestinian people and say: peace is possible, peace based on justice is possible. We will do all we can to assist you to achieve this peace..."

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 8, 2006 10:40 PM

Robert Rose:

As always, an excellent selection of prose.
I think I going to pick up some of Archbishop Desmond Tutu's books next time I'm at B & N.

Posted by: Zain | December 8, 2006 10:56 PM

Robert Rose
Few people in this country care about, think about or know about the Jewish lobby. I read some of this and i get the feeling that if it rains on a parade, it must be because of the Jewish lobby. Allow the possiblity that Americans are not a bunch of brainwashed doofuses and that they see suicide bombers blowing up innocent people in markets or on buses and can't quite bring themselves to believe that it is somehow justified.

How about putting out a clarion call to the suicide bombers? Or the people launching rockets into Israeli cities? Or the countries and groups that maintain that Israel should be wiped off the map?

President Carter seems to be suggesting that its totally up to the Israelis to solve the problem, that they practice apartheid and that the settlements are the main, perhaps only, real obstacle to peace. For someone supposedly so brilliant, it seems to me that this is a rather simplist, one-sided assessment. If you are going to negotiate peace, that implies a give and take on both sides. To absolve the Arab League and Palestinians of any responsibility to do anything is, in my opinion, not really worthy of a debate or discussion at colleges with a lot of Jews. Peace will come when BOTH sides want it and are willing to make the consessions necessary to allieviate the concers and fears of the other side. It is not a one way street and to be so one-sided in the analysis really does not move things along. To basically completely dismis the suicide bombers, the rockets, the threats of invations and the actual attacks on Israel over the years is ridiculous. That is my main issue with the book. It does not help. It basically reinforces the feelings of both sides. There is no negotiation - its Israel must do this period. I hope you consider this a "sound substantial argument in a rational discussion of [Pres Carter's] views."

Posted by: Dave! | December 8, 2006 11:27 PM

Let's see, if you criticuze Israeli policy you are deemed a "Jew hater"? So I guess the majority of the world are Jew haters, commies, unpatriotic or whatever label is given to anybody that criticizes foreign policy. Pathetic really, and the reason we are in such a dismal state in the middle east. Our foreign policy is controlled by av Taliban mentality expoused by evangelical Christians and Jews.

Posted by: antonio | December 9, 2006 12:56 AM

Angus:

Thanks for your Shabbat wishes. I know they are not in the least bit sincere, but I'll accept them.

Like J, the only thing you have attacked me on is the name change thing, and I already explained why I posted as davesax.

You obviously didn't read it, but as a matter of politeness, I will explain more fullly.

That Saxyboy monicker was from last year and I thought it up for no other reason than that the davesax monikor had been posted on another website that had said my e-mail address would not be exposed. But alas, it was exposed (it was a faulty website where for salsa dancers in NYC). I used to have an e-mail address that was davesax@***********.***. The result was tons of spam. I decided that the less the davesax monicker was out there, the less spambots would see it and associate it with the davesax e-mail. But alas, it was too late. The spam grew, and I had to turn off that e-mail address permanently.

I'm using this monicker again because I've realized that it really doesn't make a difference, since I turned off that address, and I think it's a better monicker than saxyboy, anyway.

I didn't even remember that was the monicker I posted on previously until you brought it up. I stand by my past posts, and have absolutely no idea why you think "my ass was handed to me" or some such nonsense. The only argument you guys (and that Jefferson Morley tacitly agrees with) repeat on these boards is that there is a Jewish Lobby and Israel is evil because Norman Finkelstein says so.

If you are TRULY affected by my monicker change, and really NEED to know who I am, I will direct you to a blog I've written, where you can e-mail whatever rants or tirades you have directly. I'm not hiding behind anything. You know more about me than I know about you or J, or anyone else on this board.

As far as Stein's affiliations: you obviously think that Jewish intellectuals who are affiliated with any Jewish organizations, be it a museum, local Jewish religious chapters, synagogue, Jewish singles group, Jewish rock band, or a Jewish civil rights organization like the ADL, are not to be trusted.

By this bigoted logic, then it makes sense for me to assume that Arab intellectuals affiliated with Arab organizations are not to be trusted, either, in your mind. Edward Said was an advisor to the PLO for YEARS, as was Rashid Khalidi. Sami Al Arian, a professor in Florida, was just kicked out of the country for his role as a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

As a matter of fact, many Arab professors in this country are affiliated with Arab organizations like the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, CAIR, The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Hamas charities, and various mosques and Muslim public interest groups all over the country.

As far as other people who have affiliations, outside of academia, with groups that reflect their own religious and cultural origins:

Muslim congressman Keith Ellison is affiliated with CAIR, Cuban lawmakers and professors in South Florida are affliated with various Cuban foundations, etc.

The CARTER CENTER's many donors included prominent Saudis, and Harvard recently accepted a 20 million dollar donation from a prominent Saudi prince.

The bottom line is that it's not at all uncommon for human beings and minorities in this country - be they professors, politicians, store owners, etc. - to have affiliations with groups that reflect their interests.

If you truly feel that this makes them unqualified to study and lecture and influence discussion related to the groups they are a part of - that black professors with strong black affiliations can't talk about black issues, that Catholics with strong Catholic affiliations can't talk about Issues regarding church and state, that Chinese affiliated with Chinese institutions are not capable of intelligent debate about Chinese nationalism - than you are a bigot of the highest order and no amount of denial can hide that.

Or, if you're singling out Jews and accusing us of bias, simply for being affiliated with organizations who share our concern of Israel's survival - and not applying those standards to the groups I mentioned above, you need to take a hard look at yourself and ask, "Why" you only apply this standard to Jews.

And, being that I said all of the above:

Kenneth STein's affiliations are utterly meaningless. He could be affiliated with the Mossad. It STILL doesn't change the fact that Carter has already been caught in no less than FOUR lies.

1. He said Israel attacked Jordan first in the 6 day war. Wrong.

2. He said all of the Arabs are willing to accept Israel in the '67 borders. Wrong. Hamas just said again TODAY they will NEVER accept Israel.

3. He said that Israel is guilty of apartheid in the occupied territories, even though he claims to have administered no less than TWO fair elections there.

4. He said that Israel walked away from CAmp David.

You can kick and scream about a LObby all you want. It doesn't change the fact that Carter is a liar.

And I have no doubt that in time, the truth will be revealed.

Posted by: Davesax | December 9, 2006 02:16 AM

I'm sorry to disappoint you, Dave, but I do not find any substantial argument in your post.

In your first paragraph, there is no argument to be found : you simply deny the importance of the Jewish lobby and how much people are concerned by that (including Jewish people who have been victimized by it, and accused of being anti-semites, Prof. Noam Chomsky having been one of them, I believe). Of course, I could give you multiple examples that show the importance of that lobby in the US, in Canada, in France etc., with cases numbered, names of people involved, details on how those people interfered in politics and in the media, on the preferential treatment they sought (and got !), etc. But why do that ? It would only bore to death the majority of people who know full well the importance of said lobby, all cases I have in mind having been made public, something I even find embarrassing, personally, for the Jewish community at large. Beyond that, I can only confirm that as a matter of fact, I do « allow the possiblity that Americans are not a bunch of brainwashed doofuses ».

In your second paragraph, there is no argument to be found either : you simply ask that be « put out a clarion call to » the other side, something Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mendella, Jimmy Carter (posted above) and others have all done repeatedly. What more can they do, if you are not prepared to listen to what they say, and to read all of what they write, most clearly and distinctly?

As for your third paragraph, it is equally devoid of any argument. Indeed, you simply assume -- wrongly -- (« President Carter seems to be suggesting ... ») that « its totally up to the Israelis to solve the problem », that President Carter « absolve(s) the Arab League and Palestinians of any responsibility to do anything », and you therefore only pass judgment (conclude) that President Carter's attitude is one-sided. As a matter of fact, President Carter makes it clear : 1. that his book deals with Palestine (i.e. necessarily with Israel as an occupier-colonizer) and 2. that the solution sought involves the Palestinians ultimately recognizing Israel within fixed and secure borders, which is obviously asking for significant compromises from them.

So what is there to discuss ?

Let me be frank with you. Your note smells of victimization (as do many others on this thread). Yes, even that many hundred miles away, and on the Internet!...

It is not because one is critical of A, that one is not critical of B, C, D... Z, least of all that one endorses what is wrong with B, C, D... Z. I know, Bush the son and his followers think that way -- they told us ! -- (« you are either with us or against us », « you disagree with us on Iraq, then you're pro Saddam Hussein », « you are critical of our policy in Afghanistan, you must be a Taliban », etc.), but that's not thinking... even the Bushmen were not that primitive whenever they exercised their brain (read Laurens van der Post's famous book « The Lost World of the Kalahari », you'll be amazed how sophisticated the Bushmen were! - I mean the earlier ones).

Finally, whenever one criticizes A, one is under no obligation to mention all those others one is also critical of (i.e. B, C, D... Z). The simple fact that one only mentions A, in his criticism, does not make that criticism any less valid than if one were to mention all those one is equally critical of, and sometimes for the same reasons. It does not make A a « victim » of anybody either. Nor does it mean that one is unduly selective in one's criticism, simply because it so happens that in a given context, one criticizes A, and A only.

I know I'm being blunt.

I wish you well.

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 9, 2006 02:41 AM

Zain said:

" The Arabs joined together to offer that peace in 2002."

No they didn't. Saudi Arabia claimed to have proposed peace through Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. And a the same time they held a telethon in support of suicide bombers. Then, at the Arab Summit after the op-ed in the New York Times, Syria flatly refused to ever accept Israel, half the Arab countries didn't even bother to attend, Assad and his goons blocked the broadcast of Arafat addressing everyone, and the summit fell apart within two days. It was a pathetic joke.

That's why it was so hard for Israel to take it seriously.

"Will Israel respect international law and resolutions, and both dismantle settlements and return occupied Arab territory for peace."

Zain, try to separate yourself from the pack. You sound young and decent. You haven't resorted to stereotypes like most of the others on this board.

Israel left Gaza a year ago and sent in the Army to deconstruct the settlements on international television. And until last summer, after days of rockets being shot from Gaza, stayed out. The result has been a bloody, destructive nightmare. Hamas has done nothing but build up an arsenal of rockets that it fires everyday into Israel, rather than take money from Iran to build a decent society and give people jobs.

Just TODAY Hamas said it WILL NEVER RECOGNIZE ISRAEL. PERIOD.

Stop looking at the Arabs as ranting children who can't be taken at face value. HAMAS MEANS WHAT IT SAYS. Its charter calls for the end of Israel and the extermination of the Jews there, and they are committed to it, settlements or no. They have plenty of money and weapons coming in from Iran. You think it matters to them what Assad says?

Think, Zain. Use your head. You don't have to embrace Israel, or love it, or even like it. But look at the facts on the ground. Don't just echo the tired schtick about "international law". Israel is surrounded by states that violate international law every single day. Hamas's charter is itself a violation of international law.

Good luck to you in your studies.

Posted by: davesax | December 9, 2006 02:45 AM

It is interesting how the use of fear can determine what is truth. It is questionable the true extent of the separation of church and state when the United States turns a blind eye to the actions of what has become a "rougue nation".When every so-called retaliation to a suicide bomber is to destroy institutions,i.e. homes ,schools and structures that empower the Palestinians; this is clearly a picture of hatred and greed. God bless President Jimmy Carter for always standing on the side of righteousness. It is not wrong to hold Isreal accountable for its actions. It is not "jew hating" to hate the actions of the Jewish State.

Posted by: Michael | December 9, 2006 03:25 AM

The peanut farmer james carter and his bubba brother and ms lillian were a disgrace to the american people.As president he was a walking joke as followed by his massive defeat by President Regan.He was so stupid that his wife had to sit in at white house cabinet meetings.He should return to the land of the bubbas and for once shut his mouth.

Posted by: tom | December 9, 2006 04:00 AM

Davesax:

Perhaps you are correct about the Beirut declaration not being sincere, but the only way to find out would have been for Israel to call the Arab's "bluff" and take them up on the offer, or even now take them up on the offer. You cannot assume that, after generations of leadership changes, decades of occupation, violence and military defeat, with Israel more militarily powerful than ever before, the Arabs still refuse to see the writing on the wall (some of them do not, but the hope is that engaging the rest will bring the remainder into line). It is possible that they may not, but the only way to find out is engaging them on the proposals.

Be a realist Davesax, you must realize that if (even at some distant point in the future) hypothetically these countries and societies were to "reform" themselves and "in their hearts" accept Israel's existence, then for a honorable, true peace to take place, Israel would have to return all occupied Arab territory and dismantle settlements. How else would it demonstrate that it was ready to get along and put the conflict behind it?

My point is that the simplest, most logical and just way to settle the territorial disputes between Israel and the Arabs is follow international law and implement U.N resolutions. You are correct that there are groups that at this point are virulently against Israel's existence, which is why I suggested that the "implementation" of such a return would be conditional upon the ground conditions improving to the point where Israel does not feel threatened.

This declaration of the return of land according to international law could be the "carrot" the Arabs need to put their house in order. You must realize that when Israel on one hand says that the conditions must be right just for "negotiations" to begin on WHAT land Israel will return, while it continues to build settlements in the West bank and the Golan, the Arabs (rightly or not) just see it as Israel buying time so that it can refuse to return even less land because it does not want to "uproot" the settlers. If it believes that it WILL uproot the sttlers when peace is achieved, then what is the need for putting those families through the trial of living in hostile territory and then ripping them out of the place they have come to call "home". Might as well save the money and heartache and garner goodwill by not settling period.

I am not defending the suicide bombers, the rocket attacks, or the wars. I am just saying that Israel itself cannot be taken as a sincere partner if it tells the Arabs that they must change, before it even begins negotiations, while at the same time constructing settlements on the land that is to be negotiated upon. You tell me how that looks?

Israel declaring compliance to international law (without implementing until the right environment is achieved) does not cost it anything. In fact it gains the goodwill of the world and most moderate Arabs, which really should be the impetus moderates need to sideline groups like Hamas.

Forgive me if I come across as repetitive, but I fail to see how Israel can justify its own actions as it does and then say that it is the only party committed to peace. At best it is behaving like a child doing something bad because someone else did something bad.

Posted by: Zain | December 9, 2006 09:24 AM

On the "Israel Lobby" issue; I believe that a lot of people mischaracterize, and misunderstand, Walt and Mersheimer's thesis as being this huge cabal of organizations like AIPAC, American Jews and Born Again Christians and Evangelicals. I believe the point they are trying to make is more subtle. While organizations like AIPAC obviously do exactly what anyone would expect an "Israel lobby" to do, I think the broader implication is that they act as a channeling force for first, the clout Jewish Americans possess by virtue of their tremendous achievements in the political, financial, artistic and scientific fields. "Money talks" in politics and the ability to provide, or deny, the support of such influential people would make most politicians fall into line. Secondly, I believe the organizations and lobbying groups act as a sort of "sounding board" and "ranking system" for pro-Israelis, by reminding and educating them about the positions of lawmakers, groups, organizations and personalities.

I experienced this firsthand when a Jewish client of mine strongly suggested that I boycott Carter's book because it was, in the client's words, "full of rampant anti-Semitism" and "blamed the Jews for all the problems in the world". On further questioning, the client revealed that they had not actually read the book, but various Jewish organizations and their rabbi had strongly urged Jewish Americans to boycott the book for said reasons.

The third aspect is related to how personal biases and slants and opinions creep into our everyday dealings. Once again this is actually an appreciation of the tremendous achievements of Jewish Americans (combined with pro-Israelis who are not Jewish that creates a formidable majority of pro-Israel bias) in that they have so many influential positions in the Media and a lot of times that "prejudice" creeps in subtle ways. One of these "subtleties", as I mentioned in an earlier post, is the lack of qualitative discussion about the issue of settlements and their impact on the lives of Palestinians and any balanced discussion about the settlements and refugees period. Which is strange since those remain probably the most contentious issues between the two sides.

One example of this bias was when eight Canadian civilians were killed in the initial barrage of Israeli bombings in Lebanon. The WaPo story covering it described "eight Lebanese who had Canadian citizenship". It was an obvious attempt to reduce the "shock" amongst Americans who would probably have assumed that they were "Caucasian" Canadians. A sad reflection on the fact that an Arab death could possibly have less value than an Anglo-Saxon death and be less "controversial".

A lot of pro-Israelis also happen to be liberals and democrats and I am sure you can appreciate the "bias" aspect of the media by looking at Rupert Murdoch's various networks around the world; the most infamous of which, for liberals anyway, is Fox News. Of course Fox News also happens to be just as blatantly "anti-Arab" and "anti-Muslim" as it is "anti-Liberal", and that kind of bias is not what is being referred to here.

Now none of the above is necessarily illegal. It is after all how our democracy is designed to work. Politicians chase after money and influential personalities to get them elected. The one disappointment is with the media and how it practices that "self censorship" when it comes to reporting on the lives of Palestinians. Criticize Hamas and Hizbullah all you want, condemn the barbaric terrorist bombings, rocket attacks and state sponsored terrorism, but do not forget the human tragedy that continues to unfold in the West bank and Gaza. Only then can you be balanced and objective.

Posted by: Zain | December 9, 2006 10:27 AM

Dave,

If the political system operating in the occupied territories were not an example of Apartheid, why didn't the residents of the Jewish settlements in those territories vote in the Palestinian elections?

Posted by: | December 9, 2006 02:29 PM

Robert Rose
"As a matter of fact, President Carter makes it clear : 1. that his book deals with Palestine (i.e. necessarily with Israel as an occupier-colonizer) and 2. that the solution sought involves the Palestinians ultimately recognizing Israel within fixed and secure borders, which is obviously asking for significant compromises from them." First of all the language of "occupier-colonizer" is a biased way to describe the situation. One could easily say that Israel is "security concious". But what you're telling me with a straght face is that not calling for Israel to be wiped off the map is a significant compromise by the Palestinians! I guess from that perspective its easy to see why you might not find Carter's book one sided.

"Let me be frank with you. Your note smells of victimization (as do many others on this thread)." I honestly laughed out loud at when i read this. All these posts have talked about is how the Palestinians are victims of Israeli aggression! The Israelis have colonized! They have illegally grabbed land! Why its Apartheid on the Palestinians! Their lobby has brainwashed the world! The Palestinians message isn't getting out to the masses! The settlements! The settlements! There's an aroma of victimization all right, but its not with the Israelis.

Posted by: Dave! | December 9, 2006 03:42 PM

Anon
"If the political system operating in the occupied territories were not an example of Apartheid, why didn't the residents of the Jewish settlements in those territories vote in the Palestinian elections?"
If i understand your question correctly, its because they are "Jewish settlements". It's the same reason Mexicans living in Texas or Cubans living in Florida didn't vote in the Mexican or Cuban elections.

Posted by: Dave! | December 9, 2006 03:50 PM

"I am well aware of the tactics YOU, my Zionist brethren, use to quiet anyone who attempts to expose any of your subversive acts. If the person is gentile, you cry "you're anti-Semitic," which is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide your actions. But if a Jew is the person doing the exposing, you resort to other tactics:
First, you ignore the charges, hoping the information will not be given widespread distribution. It the information starts reacting too many people, you ridicule the information and the person giving the information. If that doesn't work, your next step is character assassination. If the author or speaker hasn't been involved in sufficient scandal, you are adept at fabricating a scandal against the person or persons. If none of these are effective, you are known to resort to physical attacks. But NEVER do you try to prove the information wrong. " (from The Life Of An American Jew in Racist-Marxist Israel. By Jack Bernstein, 1984)

Posted by: Cartman | December 9, 2006 05:16 PM

Dave!:
"It's the same reason Mexicans living in Texas or Cubans living in Florida didn't vote in the Mexican or Cuban elections."

Thats a bit of a confusing analogy. Are you implying that the settlements are on Palestinian land, that would be part of a future Palestinian state, and the settlers, being "Jewish" or "Israeli", are foreigners who cannot vote in Palestinian elections? If so, then we definitely need more "pro-Israelis" like you.

Posted by: Zain | December 9, 2006 09:36 PM

Can someone tell me where I can find a 1966 map of Palestine?

Posted by: esseff | December 9, 2006 10:00 PM

Yup saxyboy my happy shabat to you was indeed insincere - unlike your good wishes I am sure. I guess you may not even read this as I recall in previous blogs you are always "leaving" and making your "last post" etc. But then inevitably you are back with another long boring tirade of propaganda.

as for kicking and screaming that seems to more aptly describe the response to Mr Carters book - in many ways I think it is great that there is such a reaction from the usual sources as people start to see through it - the more you guys talk (write) the more poeple understand you just cannot say anything critical of israel without being attacked (Mr Carter being called here a Liar, Senile , Jew Hater etc. etc.)

It reminds me of a great scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where a man is being stoned for saying "Jehovah" on a friday.

I am going to give a copy of Mr Carter's book to all my friends and family for Christmas. My logic is that the more copies it sells the better the chance of similar books being published.

If anyone has not seen this there is a archive video of the debate over the M&W paper which is well worth watching.

http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

Buy the book - show your support for Mr Carter!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 10, 2006 12:08 AM

The israeli's started the 1967 war - in depth article here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_war#Israel_and_Jordan:_The_Samu_Incident

Posted by: Angus | December 10, 2006 12:39 AM

Zain, about 90% of your stuff is just speculation, and I'm not even going to bother to respond to it.

What DOES interest me, is that you said a "Jewish client" is part of a boycott because jewish groups are telling him to.

Well, next time you bring that up with someone, provide links. I've been following the ADL for years and am on their e-mailing list. You won't here them boycotting anyone, because Foxman is against boycotts. They are oficially not ADL policy.

Camera has tried to boycott NPR to no avail. Most Jews STILL listen and donate to NPR, despite the fact that they were one of the first organizations to cry "massacre" during Jenin and have almost no credibility when it comes to reporting objectivtely on the middle east.

Never mind that Arab groups have been trying to boycott Starbucks for years because the owner is a proud supporter of Israel.

Or that right now, Arab groups are attempting to Boycott Steve Emerson from speaking to a Jewish group.

No, the only ones that should be criticized for boycotting, are people like your Jewish client.

Am I missing something?

"On the "Israel Lobby" issue; I believe that a lot of people mischaracterize, and misunderstand, Walt and Mersheimer's thesis as being this huge cabal of organizations like AIPAC, American Jews and Born Again Christians and Evangelicals. I believe the point they are trying to make is more subtle."

You believe incorrectly. I saw Mersheimer debate his points in New York, Zain, at Cooper Union. And it's readily available on the internet (despite efforts of us Lobby members to suppress it).

He said, "The Iraq war would not have happened if not for the Israel Lobby," and said that the "Israel Lobby" was working to forward the interests of Ariel Sharon and Likud. When Dennis Ross countered that the majority of Israeli politicians are on record saying that Iran was the major threat and that they did not support the war, Mersheimer AGREED, and said, "Well, the Bush administration wanted to go into Iraq and the Israel Lobby went right along".

It was then noted that Mersheimer had essentially contradicted himself, and his lame response was, "Well, I would say Dennis is a member of the Israel lobby".

Sounds like implication of a cabal to me.

And it also seems like a counter-intellectual tactic made to squelch debate. I mean, why bother with the details (the attitude of J and Angus, also) when you can simply label people as being part of a LOBBY.

And you guys on this board have the nerve to say that we smear everyone who criticizes Israel as anti-Semites?

" I think the broader implication is that they act as a channeling force for first, the clout Jewish Americans possess by virtue of their tremendous achievements in the political, financial, artistic and scientific fields. "Money talks" in politics and the ability to provide, or deny, the support of such influential people would make most politicians fall into line. Secondly, I believe the organizations and lobbying groups act as a sort of "sounding board" and "ranking system" for pro-Israelis, by reminding and educating them about the positions of lawmakers, groups, organizations and personalities."

So, what you really mean, is that jews IN GENERAL - from great jazz musicians to chemists to surgeons - are not to be trusted with their stances on Israel, and their significant achievements, which every minority strives for, are dangerous, because they are channeling their power into Washington. Cuban ex-pats in Miami, who consist of doctors, lawyers, politicos, and news personalities that overwhelmingly oppose diplomacy with the Castro dictatorship get a pass. The Saudi oil Lobby, and the recent donation of 20 million to Harvard from the Saudi Regime gets a pass. (You know the lobby paper came out a few months after that? Did Jefferson Morley mention it here? Nope. Not a peep. I guess the Jews running the Washington Post must have covered that one up, too...since Mersheimer claims this very paper is part of the Lobby).

Gotcha.

And your client, who has a rabbi that told him (probably during a Shabbat surmon on a Friday night...the horror!) not to support Jimmy carter financially by buying his inflamatory book, is also part of that Lobby.

Never mind that Imams in Saudi Funded Mosques across America probably aren't exactly encouraging their followers aren't exactly raving to Muslims about Fox News, buy U.S. News and World Report (Mort Zuckerman is part of the Lobby, you know), or read any of Thomas Friedman's books (the Arab Press out of New Jersey has actually called him a "terrorist"). Or, that Cuban priests in Miami aren't going to be telling their followers in Church to run out and watch the new biopic due that glorifies Che Guevera, either.

Or that CAIR, the Saudi Front group, had meetings with Democratic congressman, and actually has one of their most outspoken defenders - Keith Ellison - pushing to neutralize airport security.

No, none of this says anything about the dynamics of cultural groups in America that warrants discussion. The only thing that matters and that needs to be feared, thought about, and discussed by Harvard academics is the ISRAEL lobby (or, as Stephen Walt bluntly called it at a Cair luncheon - Jewish groups).

Yes, Zain, what we need to do, is put the microscope on jewish doctors, scientists, etc...because combined, they are "channeling" their interests over everyone else.

Congratulations my friend, you have affirmed what most of us in the Lobby have already suspected: that you, and the men whose paper you praise, are first class bigots.

Welcome to the cesspool.

Posted by: Davesax | December 10, 2006 12:39 AM

Angus:

"But then inevitably you are back with another long boring tirade of propaganda."

Which you keep reading, and you score the archives of this blog for. Yup, I'm just a blip that you keep ignoring.

"I am going to give a copy of Mr Carter's book to all my friends and family for Christmas."

Be my guest. A bunch of gentiles sitting around a Christmas tree reading a book written by the worst president ever.

Meanwhile, Jewish scientists in Israel will be working in their labs developing Nano-technology and continuing to build the most advanced technological society in the world.

No wonder why you're so afraid of the lobby. You're decorating bushes and talking about jimmy carter, and we lobbyists are concocting devious schemes in robotics and spinal chord research.

Merry Christmas. Hope santa brings you more Jimmy Carter books than you ever dreamed.

Posted by: David | December 10, 2006 12:49 AM

review | posted November 30, 2006 (December 18, 2006 issue)
In Palestine, a Dream Deferred
Bashir Abu-Manneh



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Since occupying the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, Israel has been the only sovereign state in British Mandate Palestine. Palestinians have been living either as second-class citizens in the Jewish state; or as colonized residents of the West Bank and Gaza with no human or political rights; or as refugees dispersed and stranded in neighboring Arab countries, in often extremely difficult conditions. The chances of Palestinians overcoming exile and exercising their right of return seem as far away as ever. Hardly more promising are the immediate prospects for ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza in accordance with the international and Arab consensus, in place since at least 1976 and rejected by the United States and Israel.

Neither armed struggle from bordering Arab countries and the occupied territories nor popular mobilization and political struggle have brought liberation and decolonization. The defeat or containment of one intifada after another has only strengthened the Israeli colonial presence in the West Bank. Despite the withdrawal of 8,000 settlers from Gaza, the area's 1.3 million Palestinians are under intensified blockade and siege. Since the summer nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed, many of them civilians, as in the recent Beit Hanoun massacre. Haughtily told by the United States that the lack of Palestinian "democracy" was the main obstacle to peace, Palestinians freely cast their ballots in the legislative elections in January, only to be punished for their democratic choice: threatened by Israel with "starvation" and denied the funds needed to pay the salaries of civil servants, the breadwinners for much of Palestinian society. Walls, checkpoints, closures, collective punishments, roadblocks, Jewish-only roads, massacres by shelling, assassinations, mass imprisonment and a poverty rate of 70 percent have come to define the Palestinian condition under occupation.

The diplomacy of the Oslo period has also failed to restitute--even some--Palestinian national rights. In fact, as far as the Israeli elite were concerned, the Oslo framework was never intended to end the occupation or to bring about withdrawal to the 1967 borders. Oslo has proved to be yet another version of the Allon Plan, first presented after the 1967 war by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. The Allon Plan proposed a truncated autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank (Allon suggested that Arab-majority areas be placed under Jordanian jurisdiction), with substantial quantities of their land annexed to Israel, which would control all borders and entry points to the territory as a whole.





Since 1993, under the guise of peacemaking, Israel has doubled the number of settlements and settlers (around 400,000) in the occupied territories. For Israel "peace" and "security" have come to mean a Palestinian population cut off from Israel yet at the same time totally dependent on it--a recipe for continuing Palestinian subjugation and Israeli domination. Palestinians have, as a result, been undergoing their worst ordeal since their dispossession and expulsion from most of Palestine in 1948 and their occupation by Israel in 1967. As John Dugard, the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories, put it in his recent report, Palestinians are the first occupied people in history on whom international sanctions have been imposed--sanctions that are "possibly the most rigorous form...imposed in modern times." Palestinian democracy, he concludes, is as curtailed by the international community as Palestinian freedom of movement is by Israel.


Posted by: Angus | December 10, 2006 01:01 AM


A Letter from 18 Writers August 2006


including three Nobel Prize recipients

The latest chapter of the conflict between Israel and Palestine began when Israeli forces abducted two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from Gaza. An incident scarcely reported anywhere, except in the Turkish press. The following day the Palestinians took an Israeli soldier prisoner--and proposed a negotiated exchange against prisoners taken by the Israelis--there are approximately 10,000 in Israeli jails.

That this "kidnapping" was considered an outrage, whereas the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and the systematic appropriation of its natural resources--most particularly that of water--by the Israeli Defense (!) Forces is considered a regrettable but realistic fact of life, is typical of the double standards repeatedly employed by the West in face of what has befallen the Palestinians, on the land allotted to them by international agreements, during the last seventy years.





Today outrage follows outrage; makeshift missiles cross sophisticated ones. The latter usually find their target situated where the disinherited and crowded poor live, waiting for what was once called Justice. Both categories of missile rip bodies apart horribly--who but field commanders can forget this for a moment?

Each provocation and counter-provocation is contested and preached over. But the subsequent arguments, accusations and vows, all serve as a distraction in order to divert world attention from a long-term military, economic and geographic practice whose political aim is nothing less than the liquidation of the Palestinian nation.

This has to be said loud and clear, for the practice, only half declared and often covert, is advancing fast these days, and, in our opinion, it must be unceasingly and eternally recognized for what it is and resisted.

PS: As Juliano Mer Khamis, director of the documentary film Arna's Children, asked: "Who is going to paint the 'Guernica' of Lebanon?"

John Berger
Noam Chomsky
Harold Pinter
José Saramago
Eduardo Galeano
Arundhati Roy
Naomi Klein
Howard Zinn
Charles Glass
Richard Falk
Gore Vidal
Russell Banks
Thomas Keneally
Chris Abani
Carolyn Forché
Martín Espada
Jessica Hagedorn
Toni Morrison


Posted by: Angus | December 10, 2006 01:04 AM

Saxyboy,

You are a racist. You are a liar. You are in no way interested in an open debate here, but either quashing it through endless applications of a series of lame logical fallacies (as Robert Rose pointed out to you, that bringing A into question (or in your case point 4 of subsection III of A) does not necessarily immediately change the truth value b or c or d ect,) or by attempting to insult or shame other posters through a variety of really pathetic and transparent methods, such as claiming that they post "too Much" and that you are "out of here" and no longer posting, which in this case did not even appear to be true for a few hours after you said it. It was pathetic this time, and is even more pathetic given the fact that you have done precisely the same thing to other posters many other times before.

Anyone can go back in the archives, and check it out for themselves.

The Racism,(which you dismiss as seemingly unimportant) was aimed at one of the forums relatively few posters who actually has ties to the region in question and is really quite disgusting, especially as you attempt to give cover to one of the most brutal and repressive policies ( the occupation and the settlements) that exists in the world today.

The fact that you so easily excuse your own overt racist behavior gives a great deal of insight into the moral and intellectal approach that you take towards defending the settlements and the horrific policies that sustain them; you are no more willing to take moral responsibility for furthering hate and intolerance toward Arab/muslim posters here than you are willing to hold the architects and builders of the occupation and settlement movement for the misery and hopelessness that they have needlessly visited upon millions for whole generations of lives.

I certainly would not have wasted my time attempting to converse with you again if you would not have hidden your Identity and pretended to have never spoken to me before, which you actully have done numerous times in the past.

So I repeat, You are a liar. You are a racist, and as such, you are not emotionally or intellectually able to correctly decode the world around you, much less able to shed any light on the already difficult and critically important problems concerning US policies towards Israel. Conversing with you is, like the racism and hate that cloud you mind, a dead end.


J


Posted by: J | December 10, 2006 03:25 AM

Davwsax:

"So, what you really mean, is that jews IN GENERAL - from great jazz musicians to chemists to surgeons - are not to be trusted with their stances on Israel, and their significant achievements, which every minority strives for, are dangerous,"

No I do not mean that and I would appreciate YOU not indulging in "speculation" about my "intentions", picking and choosing snippets out of context and mischaracterizing my posts. But perhaps that is the only way you know how to debate (or avoid debate on the more "uncomfortable" issues), by offering caustic and disparaging responses to posts that you do not agree with, and going off on tangents that have nothing to do with the issue.
Either I am not being as clear as I think I am, or you cannot help but look at anything I say from a jaundiced point of view. If it is the former, then a simple request for clarification will do instead of an entire rant based on an assumption that I am stereotyping and condemning an entire race.

I am only offering my opinion (that's what you are supposed to do on blogs I think) based on how I interpreted Walt and Mersheimers argument. That included recognition of how successful and powerful the Jewish community is (and I know and agree that they are not a "monolith" of unanimous opinion, but the majority does seem to lean one particular way on the issue). Why are you equating that with some sort of resentment towards their success? Is it that "jaundiced" world view again? Quite honestly if they were not successful, I would not have as many clients.

To finish answering your latest tirade, I mentioned at the end of my post that there is nothing illegal (or necessarily wrong I should add) about how the system works. The only issue I have is with the media, since it is expected of them to be objective, and in MY opinion, they are not. You can disagree of course, I would hardly expect anything less on an issue like that, but you can disagree with civility. I respect that people will have differing opinions on anything. The idea is to have "civil" exchanges to find out what those differences are, and what they are based on. Condescending and demeaning responses only illustrate a lack of desire to reciprocate that civility and a certain narrow-mindedness.

Posted by: Zain | December 10, 2006 07:23 AM

Davesax:

I do have to agree with you that W & M's analysis about the "lobby" being behind the Iraq war does not stand scrutiny. That view is one I have held since I first heard that suggestion. I find it much more likely that it was part of a "grand new Middle East vision" thought up by misinformed and culturally ignorant neo-cons who tried applying very simplistic solutions to complex problems.

That said I still do not see anything wrong with their analysis that there is an "Israel Lobby" just like there is a Cuban one, an Arab one, a homosexual one, and one for the Christian right etc. I would think there really would not be much issue over that suggestion. Some are just more powerful than others. Some derive a lot of clout from the fact that a majority of the community they represent, or the section of the community that is interested in the issues they advance, is more united, focused and politically active than others. The more important question is whether the policies they are advocating are realistic, viable, ethical and moral in the long term and whether they serve U.S interests. I think that is where the Media has failed; in having in depth discourse over such issues as they relate to the Mid East conflict.

Posted by: Zain | December 10, 2006 09:56 AM

"Can someone tell me where I can find a 1966 map of Palestine? " esseff --

Essef, I wish I could be more helpful. If I can find time to inquire some more and find what you are after, I'll advise on this thread.

In the meantime, I'd suggest you consult the UNITED NATIONS, either on their Web site, or by mail, or through a librarian at your library (inter-library services).

Many years ago (many...), I had written to the UN and had obtained from them (for free!) very impressive documentation (quantity and quality) on Palestine, with maps and all the rest. Perhaps if you try, you can get something valuable from them.

There is a "contact us" function on the UN site (http://www.un.org). Best of luck to you.

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 10, 2006 10:57 AM

Zain,

Regarding "The Israel Lobby and Iraq",

Part of what makes "The Lobby" such a problem for the US is that it includes a number of largley unrelated groups who only happen to be aimed at the same goal for VERY different reasons. They are not necessarily working in collusion with each other at all . It includes large portions of the poliically powerfull christian right, segments of the community within the Pentagon, and of course AIPAC, the ADL and similar organizations. It does not, however, appear to include even the majority of the Amercan Jewish Community.

The cumulative weight of these groups, with their various methods of acheiving a similar goal has the effect of creating dysfunctional Goverment and Press opinions and decisions regarding the US role in the Middle East.

The portion "the Israel Lobby" comprised by AIPAC and its various supporters IS highly organized, well funded and constantly working to sway government and public opinion through tactics both legal and illegal. For instance Aipac is under investigation by the FBI for attempting to illegally influence the decision to keep Jane Harman in her post as head of the house intelligence subcommittee.

Of course, when this investigation became public, it ruined Harmans chances because it cast an extremely harsh and public light on Nancy Pelosi, who would make this decision. Part of the reason that AIPAC wanted Harman to remain is because it is surmised that she would work to soften the impact of the investigation agasint the two High ranking AIPAC officials that are currently charged with espionage. They took classified documents from Larry Franklin, (an analyst was working for Douglas Feith in Feiths office of special planning) who is already doing 12 years for his part in this case.

Now, the important part to the story detailed above is that those documents pertain to US intel on Iran, and it is surmised that they would be used by Israel to try to influence the decision for the US to go to war with Iran. It seems likely that similar methods might have been used to influence the decision to go to war with Iraq, which as we all know now, was based on some sort of "systematic" problem with the collection and interpretation of Intel concerning Iraqs intentions and capabilities, almost as though someone knew exactly what we needed to hear to make that decision and then worked to provide faulty intel that met that criterion.

So between the Neocons, AIPAC, the christian right, ADL and sililar groups, you have a situation in this country in which you might be variously called unpatriotic, anti semitic, or unchristian if you speak out agaisnt the certain policies of relatively small segment of the Ultra right wing potion of the Israeli goverment.

As a result, the politicians and press cower in fear at the reprisals from one or all of those groups.

That is why, during the debates in the last Presidential Election, Both Bush and Kerry said that one important part of the justification of the war in Iraq is that it was keeping Israel safe. There was not a single question at the time or after that from the press concerning this statement, nor from anywhere else in the government. If they would have said that the Iraq war was partially justified because it kept sweden safe, I assume that it might have at least raised a few questions, because you are never labeled anti semitic, un American or Un Christian if you question the US relationship with Sweden in this country and whether or not it's a good Idea to go to war to keep Sweden Safe.

Posted by: J | December 10, 2006 03:26 PM

davesax:

Could you post the link for Ross-Mershiemer debate?

Posted by: Garak | December 10, 2006 03:59 PM

All these hysterical comments attacking Pres. Carter for being anti-Israel and anti-semitic merely prove one of Pres. Carter's points: We can't have an honest debate on Israel in this country.

Who cares about Israel? It's a foreign power, one that has launched military attacks against the US when it attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, machine gunning the life boats full of US servicemen. And got away with it due to the same sort of people who not attack Pres. Carter. A country that stole our atomic secrets and sold them to the USSR. And never let its bankroller and only reason for existence even interview Pollard's handlers. Israel has nothing but contempt for the US.

American owes Israel nothing, and neither do I or any other American.

Israel stole the Palestinians' land, pure and simple. Now Israel is harvesting the fruits of this theft. I have no sympathy for them. None.

Posted by: Garak | December 10, 2006 04:13 PM

"Could you post the link for Ross-Mershiemer debate?" (Garak)-- http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

"The Israel Lobby: Does it Have Too Much Influence on US Foreign Policy?"

"Debate took place at Cooper Union in New York City and was captured by ScribeMedia on behalf of the London Review of Books."

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 10, 2006 05:15 PM

Keep talking/writing saxyboy - as I said the more you guys are heard the better people are able to understand the true racism of zionism and its mouthpieces in the US.

I am not afraid of Iapac (sic) but I do consider them as an agent of a foreign goverment and their actions bordering on treasonous.

Interestingly you also seem to be saying that israel and its Jewish scientists are superior to the rest of the world.

Am I misreading this or is it just that you slipped up and allowed your massive superiority somplex to slip out.

As I said keep 'em talking..........

Posted by: Angus the Bush decorator | December 10, 2006 06:29 PM

that should say "superiority complex"...

Posted by: Angus | December 10, 2006 06:31 PM

J:

You have been able to articulate most of what I have been trying to express with so much ease in one post that it is almost maddening.:-).

I'll admit that my statement about a "majority of Jewish Americans supporting Israel" was based more on personal experience, instead of any reference to a scientific survey, and probably inappropriate. Supporting Israel is different from supporting its occupation and settlement policies and that is an important distinction that needs to be made.

Regarding the story of Jane Harman, perhaps I should start taking issue with the way the system works, or rather with how it is misused and exploited.

Posted by: Zain | December 10, 2006 08:15 PM

Map of Palestine:

http://www.middleeastfacts.com/middle-east-maps2.php

Wow, I had no idea that Israel does not even exist! I can't imagine what all of the fuss is about.


Posted by: esseff | December 10, 2006 09:16 PM

esseff
As Carter and many others here will tell you, that is not the issue. It's the settlements in Palestine, er, Israel territories that is the penultimate issue in the region. Why, if that one issue was resovled, we could go back to the the regular type of fighting and violence that occured prior to 1967...

Posted by: Dave! | December 11, 2006 10:18 AM

Angus
" Palestinians have, as a result, been undergoing their worst ordeal since their dispossession and expulsion from most of Palestine in 1948 and their occupation by Israel in 1967." Let's be precise - it was the British Mandate of Palestine prior to 1948 (not just Palestine) that also included what is now Jordan. Prior to that, it was part of the Ottoman Empire for several hundred years.

"Palestinians are the first occupied people in history on whom international sanctions have been imposed--sanctions that are "possibly the most rigorous form...imposed in modern times."" And deservedly so. This is, actually, democracy in action. Elections do matter. Elect a bunch of terrorists to run your government and you are inviting and should expect the predictable consequences. Palestinians certainly had the right to elect Hamas. But it was, in my opinion, perhaps the worst thing they could have done to further any prospect of peace, improve their conditions or get them a state. Maybe, they will realize their mistake in the next election (much like the US did when it elected Jimmy Carter and then dumped him big time after 4 miserable years).

Posted by: Dave! | December 11, 2006 11:17 AM

J you are a brain damaged anti-semitic RETARD!

Posted by: Emile | December 11, 2006 02:19 PM

Thank you Emile for the most indisputably correct posting on this pathetic discussion.

Posted by: Jeremiah | December 11, 2006 02:21 PM

Kevin you are right I am a complete dumbass!

Posted by: OD | December 11, 2006 02:22 PM

At least J contributes to the dialogue. As for Emile and Jeremiah, well let's just say that I might pay better attention to you two if you were to debate something J has said or something Carter wrote. You may discover that has a better effect on the message you are trying to convey. In fact, I think you just might have violated the rules of the posts. We'll have to see how long-lived your posts are on here.

Posted by: Constructive! | December 11, 2006 04:00 PM

Zain,

I think most people here, my self included, really appreciate you comments and contributions. My intention was to add a little depth to the "Isreal Lobby" definition, which I know you and many other people here already understand, But which often is often "misunderstood" by others to be some sort of dark conspiracy, rather than a somewhat chaotic, very unfortuante confluence of historical events which have managed to create an ongoing US foreign policy disaster that has persisted for decades longer than it might have under more politically healthy circumstances.

I also wanted to put into perspective the role that the Lobby played in getting us into Iraq, which, although certainly not the only factor, was not insubstantial.

It is, in my opinion, correct to assume that this was not an advantageous move for Israel, but few of the the Ultra Right Wing Israeli initiatives have ever been good for either The US or Israel, starting with the settlements and the occupation and including all of the damaging, morally indefensible attempts to sustain them that have occured since.

Happy Holidays,

J

Posted by: J | December 11, 2006 05:00 PM

J you are an even bigger dumbass than I am and that is saying something!

Posted by: OD | December 11, 2006 05:29 PM

J, you seethed:

"You are a racist. You are a liar."

Blah, blah, whine, whine. You and Angus should start a blog togther.

You still haven't posted a single link that takes on a single fact I've said, so this is what you resort to.

And if it upsets you that I say I won't come back but I still do, well, too bad.

As Don Corleone said, "They keep pullin' me back in!"

Zain said:

"I think the broader implication is that they act as a channeling force for first, the clout Jewish Americans possess by virtue of their tremendous achievements in the political, financial, artistic and scientific fields."

"I experienced this firsthand when a Jewish client of mine..."

"No I do not mean that and I would appreciate YOU not indulging in "speculation" about my "intentions", picking and choosing snippets out of context and mischaracterizing my posts."

I'm not mischaracterizing anything.

First it was a Lobby, then the achievement oriented Jewish community, then your client.

No offence, but you're starting to sound like Mersheimer at Cooper Union. He couldn't articulate what he meant consistently, either, and kept tripping over himself. It was ridiculous.

I suppose he found himself in the same conundrum that you do. He keeps insisting that the Lobby is not an organized monolith, yet calls it a Lobby. And tries to define it the same way you do...which is basically just saying, "Anyone in the New York Times who supports Israel's existence from the New York Times to powerful Jewish Doctors to Hollywood producers." You keep trying to act like this isn't a Jewish issue, when it most certainly is.

It's not a Lobby...but it is...it's not Jews...but it is.

It's almost Borat like, it's so nonsensical.

Walt, at a Cair conference, didn't bother trying to spin. He just said, "Jewish groups are responsible for the war in Iraq," and blamed all the problems in the Middle East on U.S. Jewish groups.

I actually respect his approach, more.

"That said I still do not see anything wrong with their analysis that there is an "Israel Lobby".'

Um, OK...I don't recall saying there is anything wrong with that. I'm saying their definition, and points, are completely flawed. Such is my right - to point out with facts - as you have said so eloquently.

And your thing about 'homosexual' and 'Cuban Lobby' and 'Arab Lobby'... Not one of those get a tenth of the scrutiny of the all powerful 'Israel Lobby'. As a matter of fact, no "Lobby" is vilified more and talked about and seethed about. Please point me to an academic paper on the Cuban Lobby or Arab Lobby that's gotten international coverage in the press.

Thanks.

"Condescending and demeaning responses only illustrate a lack of desire to reciprocate that civility and a certain narrow-mindedness."

Now I'm narrow minded, because I don't think your characterizations are accurate. Please. I'm one of the only people on this board standing up against the choir. This discussion reeks of a lack of civility. I haven't seen a genuine link or point by point refutation of anything I've said...even when I've referred people to benign sources like the Mersheimer debate in New York! (Though I do appreciate your acknowledging that the stuff about Iraq is bogus).

Now, I'm sorry if I came across as condescending, but I've tired of these verbal gymnastics. If you want to talk about AIPAC. Talk about it. And provide links. I've provided links and told you where to look,and the only response I've gotten here is that "Well, all your sources are part of the Lobby".

And stop indulging in fantasies that the press does not present the Palestinian position or is somehow silenced by a Lobby. In this paper, today, is a puff peace about your man Jimmy Carter that could have been written by a publicist, it's so salutory. There's also a piece called, "Israel is a Liability."

Do a search in Google news for Carter and/or Israel lobby. You get DOZENS of results from U.S. papers.

So stop whining. And thank your "Jewish clients" for making you so successful.

Too bad you stand on the side of people that lie and villify their right to self-rule.

Posted by: davsax | December 11, 2006 05:54 PM

And Angus:

I'm not saying Jewish minds are superior to the rest of the world.

I'm saying they're superior to yours.

Hope santa brings your lots of peanuts and Jimmy books.

Posted by: saxyboy | December 11, 2006 05:59 PM

"Meanwhile, Jewish scientists in Israel will be working in their labs developing Nano-technology and continuing to build the most advanced technological society in the world."

Just for the record suxyboy this was your exact post - so do you think israels society more advanced than the rest of the world? including the US? Or are you backtracking?

Btw I have now sent 11 copies of Mr Carter's book to my various bush decorating family and friends (of varied religious background I might add)...

Posted by: Angus | December 11, 2006 11:44 PM

"Elections do matter. Elect a bunch of terrorists to run your government and you are inviting and should expect the predictable consequences."

I trust you refer to shamir, begin, meir, sharon, barak (the transvestite) olmert etc etc etc....in fact the only decent PM Israel ever had was murdered by a right wing jew.

And now the wonderfully fair minded israeli government includes their very own david duke ......a certain Mr Lieberman who advocates forcible expulsion of the Palestinians from israel (well the few that are left after the initial bouts of ethnic cleansing)!!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 11, 2006 11:50 PM

"But it was, in my opinion, perhaps the worst thing they could have done to further any prospect of peace, improve their conditions or get them a state."

interesting how olmert recently refers to allowing the palestinians a state in "Judea & Samaria" - kinda sounds a tad like the "greater israel" fascist line to me ....

Posted by: Angus | December 11, 2006 11:57 PM

Angus
Interesting that you bring up the name David Duke. Guess who is presenting a paper at the Iranian conference on the myth of the Holocaust? That's right. The Duke himself. So, while according to you, Israel may have found its own, Iran has the real deal.

Posted by: | December 12, 2006 12:46 AM

Why are you guys--J(principally), angus, and Robert Rose even talking to this gas bag Davesaxyboy? I understand maybe one, even two responses to his mostly empty verbal hot air, quibbling over Stein, blah, blah, blah, Stein blah. I was the first one to respond to his "Stein Letter", and I thought it was the only response IT deserved about an academic who has YET TO PUBLISH his detailed objections to Carter's book. Three days later I check back on this postings and half of the posting is this GAS-BAG talking about NOTHING of consequence, endlessly debating--thanks to you guys-- about minor inconsequentials. I am COMPLETELY disappointed in you guys. The guy just talks, talks, ad nauseum with no particular point,(he apparently loves to read his own postings) and you guys LET HIM talk ad nauseum with no particular point. If I did not know any better, which I don't , I would think you guys were all friends of the GAS BAG enabling him to eat up half of the posting space!!!

Posted by: jacob | December 12, 2006 01:00 AM

Jacob, I'm guilty of one... I agree, it may have been one too many. Point well taken. But I'm in greener pastures now. Won't do it again, I promise... Didn't mean to disappoint you so completely...

Posted by: Robert Rose | December 12, 2006 01:19 AM

jacob,

Your post is a virtual cornucopia of good advice. As soon as I understood whom it was I was talking to, I cut off communication with the him, as I long ago learned what a bigoted and mendatious person he is. However, I think Angus also as a point in that it is instructive to see how desperate people like saxyboy (and for that matter Stein) are when they are confronted with the truth by a person of real integrity such as Carter.
Nonetheless, I agree that only small examples of that desperation are necessary. After that, its all just a waste of space.

J

Posted by: J | December 12, 2006 02:53 AM

J -

Don't you ever use spell check?

You are breaking my heart by not talking to a "mendatious" guy like me.

I love you.

Posted by: saxyboy | December 12, 2006 10:28 AM

Angus their are farm animals will far greater intellectual prowess than you!

Posted by: Joe | December 12, 2006 11:19 AM

J Why aren't you at the big conference in Tehran with all the rest of you buddies?

Posted by: Sam | December 12, 2006 11:23 AM

Sam:

As the articulate and erudite J would say, "Your post is a virtual cornucopia of good advice."

LOL

Posted by: saxyboy who loves J | December 12, 2006 11:30 AM

Angus appears to be living proof that the Scottish are as dumb as the sheep they fornicate with.

Posted by: Colin (UK) | December 12, 2006 01:09 PM

I'll kill you you limey bastard!

Posted by: Fat Bastard | December 12, 2006 01:10 PM

While the current topic is that the world's problems are caused by the settlements and all Israeli issues are deemed, well, non-issues, i thought i would throw this in. It's the latest from the Iranian conference on the Holocaust myth (the quote soon to be derided as a mis-translation). I still can't quite figure out why Israel is worried about its neighbors in the region. It's perplexing...
From Iranian President Ahmadinejad
"Thanks to people's wishes and God's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want," he said. "Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out," he added.

Can't wait for the David Duke presentation!

Posted by: Dave! | December 12, 2006 02:12 PM

Please don't respond to Angus he is clearly a piece of crap!

Posted by: Howard | December 12, 2006 02:18 PM

Just watched the movie "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" The 100 plus year old fraud about all the power of the Jewish Lobby/Cabal.
Very interesting, and frightening.
A few images that stand out:
-- Hamas quotes the Protocols in their charter along with the desire to wipe out the Jewish state.
-- A 3 year old girl spouting "all Jews are apes and pigs" from the Koran.
-- And I don't remember if this is from the movie or another source, but if Israel treated it's non-Jewish citizens like the Arab/Muslim countries treated their Jews, since there essentially aren't any Jews left in almost any of these countries, and there certainly won't be a whole bunch in any future non-terrorist "Palestinean" state, would the world approve, or would it prove, again, the double standard against Jews?

Those of you who are honest and seeking facts will say of course, the rest of you truly aren't worth arguing with...

Posted by: the rest of the story | December 12, 2006 02:54 PM

And some of us will say, "What the hell was the point of that post?"

Posted by: | December 12, 2006 03:04 PM

Hi all:

Just wanted to let you know that here at AIPAC, we use Zionist/Mossad technology to find your home address and we add it to a database of people whom we will kill to make this year's Chanukah latkes with.

That goes for you, Angus.

Posted by: AIPAC guy | December 12, 2006 03:13 PM

I hear that in Israel you can buy Palestinian lampshades, made with real Palestians.

Posted by: In Israel | December 12, 2006 03:15 PM

I am still looking for mainstream publications that are willing to discuss the most important aspects of Carters book;
That (as Tony Blair has reiterated several times, as Bill Clinton has said, and the ISG has echoed as well) the "war on terror" will never be over until there is a just peace and two state solution in the Occupied territories.

That might also be followed closely by a discussion of the moral and political justification (or lack thereof) for increasing the West Bank settlement size and population even as all of this is being written, and the very negative impact that has on US (and Israeli) credibilty as we try to build consensus for peace and stability in the region.

Instead, there are only vague references to ommisions and errors (what Omissions? All other avaliable facts and speculations in the entire universe of facts and speculations, or only those that settlement apologists would demand be included so that any discussion about any subject would just eventually sink down into nothing in a sea of equivocations, including subjects ranging from the reality of South African apartheid, the reality of the Holocaust, to whether or not any thing that you ever see or hear is actually true or real), why not talk about the main point, even for a little while, given it's current gravity.


From the LA TIMES

"Jimmy Carter staunchly defended his controversial Middle East book at an appearance in Pasadena on Monday night, saying "horrible, despicable human rights abuses" are occurring in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

The former president also asserted that pro-Israel lobbyists have stifled open debate in this country on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. "It's impossible for any candidate for Congress to make a statement like 'I favor balanced support of Israel and Palestine,' " he said.

Carter made his remarks in a brief session with reporters before a book-signing appearance at a jammed Vromans bookstore, which attracted an overwhelmingly supportive crowd estimated at nearly 2,000.

The warm reception was a marked contrast to the heated criticism that the book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," has triggered since its publication last month. It has drawn fire from pro-Israel organizations and some scholars, including the former executive director of the Carter Center in Atlanta.

In an interview Monday, one of the leading critics, Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, took particular issue with Carter's remarks that the Israeli-Palestinian situation cannot get a fair discussion in the U.S. media.

"This is an anti-Semitic canard, that Jews control media, that they control universities, Congress, etc. For a former president to engage in such a canard is shameful, shameless and irresponsible," said Foxman, who also accused Carter of making "outrageous misrepresentations of Israel."

In his Pasadena talk, Carter emphasized that his criticism of Israeli policy pertained not to conditions within the nation's pre-1967 war borders, but in territories occupied after that conflict.

He also took aim at the American Israeli Political Action Committee, an umbrella proIsrael lobbying organization. He said its aim is "not to promote peace in the Middle East, but to explain the policy of the incumbent Israeli government and to get support for it in the U.S. Their demand is almost complete unanimity and rigidity in supporting Israel's policy."

Carter also responded to the severe criticism he has received for using the term "apartheid" in the book's title, calling it "completely appropriate for Palestine" and emphasizing that it did not refer to conditions between Jews and Muslims within Israel's pre-1967 borders. The term traditionally has been used to refer to the former practice of separation of the races in South Africa, but in recent years has been employed by Israel's critics.

Fans of Carter who braved a long line in hopes of getting him to sign their copies of his book expressed support for his views. "It takes courage to be speaking the truth about such an important issue, to be fair, to know the facts, and to speak with truthfulness," said Karen Hayes, a 46-year-old documentary filmmaker from Pasadena. "He sincerely wants to find a way to build peace."

With her was her brother-in-law, Curtis Silvers, a 43-year-old sales manager also from Pasadena, who has begun reading the book and credited Carter with "laying out both sides of the story, letting the public, the readers, take away from it what they want."

"His main goal is peace," Silvers said.

Small clusters of protesters, both for and against Carter, gathered peacefully outside the bookstore. One supporter, Jeff Warner, a member of a group called L.A. Jews for Peace, held a sign thanking Carter for the book. "It's clear Israel has been the block to peace," said Warner, 67, a retired geologist from La Habra Heights.

But Shirley Kahen, 29, a social worker from Westwood, brought a sign that read: "Thanks for empowering terrorists in Iran and the Middle East." Kahen said Carter "is one-sided, and he's using his influence as president and his popularity to get people to listen to his views, which are inaccurate."

Across the country, one of the leading critics of Carter's book is Kenneth W. Stein, a professor of Middle Eastern history and political science at Emory University. The book prompted Stein's resignation last week from his position as a fellow with the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Stein, who was associated with the center for 23 years and once was its executive director, said in a letter that the book was "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments."

The criticism also was sharp in Sunday's Washington Post, in one of the first reviews of the book to appear in a major publication. The Post's reviewer called it a "cynical book" that "blames Israel almost entirely for perpetuating the hundred-year war between Arab and Jew."

The review faulted Carter for writing at length about the barrier Israel is building to separate Israelis and Palestinians on the West Bank without acknowledging "the actual raison d'etre for the fence: to prevent the murder of Jews.""

(P.S., Regarding the last line of the piece, It would seem that if the fence is effective in that sense, it would be similary effective, or even arguably more effective, if it was built on the green line, where it belongs.)

J

Posted by: J | December 12, 2006 04:19 PM

J
If you are looking for reviews of the book, you should read the right on unofficial one by the normally dense Michael Kinsley. I'll pull a J and post it here...

It's Not Apartheid
Carter Adds to the List Of Mideast Misjudgments
By Michael Kinsley

In the six decades since the founding of Israel, there have been about one and a half new ideas for solving the most intractable problem on the map of the world. In fact, ever since Britain's Balfour Declaration (1917) made incompatible promises to Jews and Arabs struggling over the same tiny plot of land, most would-be solutions have counted on an outbreak of goodwill among the Middle East's warring parties. This tradition continues in the Iraq Study Group report, which declared: "There must be a renewed and sustained commitment by the United States to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace on all fronts" as a small warm-up for tackling the problem of Iraq.

What a good idea! And then we'll cure cancer, to pave the way for health care reform. Why, of course all of humanity should put down its weapons and learn to live together in harmony and siblinghood -- most especially in the Holy Land, birthplace of three great religions (so far). In fact it is downright inexplicable that peace and goodwill have not broken out spontaneously in the Middle East, even though this has never happened anywhere else either.

This is what special commissions are for, although this agreeably tough-sounding demand for comprehensiveness directly conflicts with the half of an idea mentioned above, which went by the name of "road map." It was only half an idea, let's call it a notion, because this notion still depended on something close to a change in human nature. But the road map made this seem more plausible. The notion was that abandoning the melodrama of a comprehensive settlement and settling for a series of smaller steps over many years might help the parties to develop mutual trust. Or at least this was a better bet than expecting each side to make a leap of faith into the arms of the other.

Meanwhile, the one full new idea in the Israel-Arab conflict came from Ariel Sharon, of all people. This oafish former general, who supervised the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon back in 1982, as prime minister more recently took up the philosophy in that Robert Frost poem: "Good fences make good neighbors." Rather than wait a few million years for evolution to purge Israelis and Arabs of their animosity, just keep them apart with a fence or a wall and related rules. Yes, of course, the walls and the rules favored Israel and were a far greater burden on Arabs than Israelis. But that is the kind of thing you can negotiate.

Comes now former president Jimmy Carter with a new best-selling book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." It's not clear what he means by using the loaded word "apartheid," since the book makes no attempt to explain it, but the only reasonable interpretation is that Carter is comparing Israel to the former white racist government of South Africa. That is a foolish and unfair comparison, unworthy of the man who won -- and deserved -- the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing Israel and Egypt together in the Camp David Accords, and who has lent such luster to the imaginary office of former president.

I mean, what's the parallel? Apartheid had a philosophical component and a practical one, both quite bizarre. Philosophically, it was committed to the notion of racial superiority. No doubt many Israelis have racist attitudes toward Arabs, but the official philosophy of the government is quite the opposite, and sincere efforts are made to, for example, instill humanitarian and egalitarian attitudes in children. That is not true, of course, in Arab countries, where hatred of Jews is a standard part of the curriculum.

The practical component of apartheid involved the creation of phony nations called "Bantustans." Black South Africans would be stripped of their citizenship and assigned to far-away Bantustans, where often they had never set foot. The goal was a racially pure white South Africa, though the contradiction with the need for black labor was never resolved. Here might be a parallel with Israel, which needs the labor of the Arabs it is trying to keep out.

But in other ways, the implied comparison is backward. To start with, no one has yet thought to accuse Israel of creating a phony country in finally acquiescing to the creation of a Palestinian state. Palestine is no Bantustan. Or if it is, it is the creation of Arabs, not Jews. Furthermore, Israel has always had Arab citizens. They are a bit on display, like black conservatives at a Republican convention. No doubt they suffer discrimination. Nevertheless, they are citizens with the right to vote and so on.

There used to be Jews living in Arab nations, but they also fled, in 1948 and subsequent years -- in numbers roughly equivalent to the Arabs who fled Israel. Now there are virtually no Jews in Arab countries -- even in a moderate Arab country such as Jordan. How many Jews do you think there will be in the new state of Palestine when its flag flies over a sovereign nation?

And the most tragic difference: Apartheid ended peacefully. This is largely thanks to Nelson Mandela, who turned out to be miraculously forgiving. If Israel is white South Africa and the Palestinians are supposed to be the blacks, where is their Mandela?

Posted by: Dave! | December 12, 2006 05:09 PM

Interesting how all the "tough guy" posts are bookended by saxyboy/dave ......

as for duke being in Tehran - was there not a bunch of Rabbi's there too???


Still not seeing any reason why people should not read Jimmy Carter's book and make up their own mind.

All we are hearing he is a liar and "the worst President the US has ever had" ....

Of course people are forgetting that this was one of the few US Presidents who actually brought a peace treaty to Israel.

Interesting how he is now being demonized!!

Keep up the good work Mr Carter!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 12, 2006 11:59 PM

Angus
Acutally from me (Dave! is not related to any other name except sometimes anon when i forget to type it in) you are hearing that his analysis is wrong, completely one-sided and misguided (and he was arguably the worst president of the century - not ever). As for his "Peace in the Middle East" deal brokering, it's his one achievement as president. But it does not mean that he can't be way off base now. That said, he gets from me due credit for taking advantange of the opportunity presented to him at the time. From Prof. Bernard Lewis, dean of Middle East scholars (Princeton), "The popular mythology is that Sadat made this enormously courageous and imaginative gesture of offering peace. . . . [Sadat and Begin] then went to the United States to discuss it further, and thanks to the wise statesmanship of Jimmy Carter and his staff, they were able to bring [their work] to a successful conclusion, to a peace treaty." Why, in fact, did the two principals ring the White House? "Well, obviously," explained Lewis, "they needed someone to pay the bill, and who but the United States could fulfill that function?".

Posted by: Dave! | December 13, 2006 10:48 AM

Angus really is a piece of gooey turd!

Posted by: Lawrence | December 13, 2006 11:06 AM

Carter is, I think, being unecessarily provocative with his apartheid analogy. That isn't what is happening in Israel at all, unless of course one redefines the word, a sad tactic the left seems to love. Granted, his primary (some would say only) Presidential achievement was the Camp David Accords. What is often overlooked is that those accords were between Israel and Egypt, not the Palestinians. The Israelis do in fact have legitimate security concerns and until those can be resolved they aren't going to comply with international law, since the international community doesn't really do anything to solve their security concerns. Look at it from their point of view, why participate in a system which isn't benefiting you on your most pressing issue. When the international community refuses to take action against not only the Palestinian terrorists but also their Iranian and Syrian supporters, why should Israel do what the international community wants? The Palestinians aren't going to stop fighting so long as they have the backing of Iran and Syria, something we are seeing now with the Hamas government, who would risk popular revolt, disfunction, and disunity rather than alienate Iran and Syria. I also think that Carter's criticisms are a bit dated, as Israel is beginning to withdraw and establish their own borders, unilaterally of course, since the Palestinians can't seems to from a functioning government at the moment. What would better serve his stated cause of Middle East peace would eb to pressure the Isaelis to include the Palestinians in their withdrawal debates, allowing the Palsetinians to have some say in how these borders are defined. Instead, Israel is, thanks in large part to Sharon's brilliance, defining the terms of withdrawal and their own borders by taking advantage of the fractious state of Palestinian leadership post-Arafat. If the Palestinians were as interested in peace and statehood as they are in fighting Israel they would do the prudent thing and recognize Israel and then offer security guarantees in exchange for a say in how borders are defined. Instead Golda Mier's decades-old prediction still rings true, that peaces will only come to the Palestinians when they love their children more than they hate Israel.

Trust always in Reason

Archimedes

Posted by: Archimedes | December 13, 2006 11:45 AM

Carter is, I think, being unecessarily provocative with his apartheid analogy. That isn't what is happening in Israel at all, unless of course one redefines the word, a sad tactic the left seems to love. Granted, his primary (some would say only) Presidential achievement was the Camp David Accords. What is often overlooked is that those accords were between Israel and Egypt, not the Palestinians. The Israelis do in fact have legitimate security concerns and until those can be resolved they aren't going to comply with international law, since the international community doesn't really do anything to solve their security concerns. Look at it from their point of view, why participate in a system which isn't benefiting you on your most pressing issue. When the international community refuses to take action against not only the Palestinian terrorists but also their Iranian and Syrian supporters, why should Israel do what the international community wants? The Palestinians aren't going to stop fighting so long as they have the backing of Iran and Syria, something we are seeing now with the Hamas government, who would risk popular revolt, disfunction, and disunity rather than alienate Iran and Syria. I also think that Carter's criticisms are a bit dated, as Israel is beginning to withdraw and establish their own borders, unilaterally of course, since the Palestinians can't seems to from a functioning government at the moment. What would better serve his stated cause of Middle East peace would eb to pressure the Isaelis to include the Palestinians in their withdrawal debates, allowing the Palsetinians to have some say in how these borders are defined. Instead, Israel is, thanks in large part to Sharon's brilliance, defining the terms of withdrawal and their own borders by taking advantage of the fractious state of Palestinian leadership post-Arafat. If the Palestinians were as interested in peace and statehood as they are in fighting Israel they would do the prudent thing and recognize Israel and then offer security guarantees in exchange for a say in how borders are defined. Instead Golda Mier's decades-old prediction still rings true, that peaces will only come to the Palestinians when they love their children more than they hate Israel.

Trust always in Reason

Archimedes

Posted by: Archimedes | December 13, 2006 11:45 AM

"I mean, what's the parallel? Apartheid had a philosophical component and a practical one, both quite bizarre. Philosophically, it was committed to the notion of racial superiority. No doubt many Israelis have racist attitudes toward Arabs, but the official philosophy of the government is quite the opposite, and sincere efforts are made to, for example, instill humanitarian and egalitarian attitudes in children."

So how is the "egalitarian" and "humanitarian" policy of Israel interpreted in the light of a wall, on Palestinian land, that (even if in not all areas) separates family from family. How is this policy interpreted in the light of continued settlement building in the Golan and the West Bank, land that is supposedly to be negotiated over, in contravention of U.N Security Council resolutions and international law? How is this policy interpreted in the light of the many Israeli controlled roads that crisscross the West Bank connecting Israeli settlements, but also splintering the Palestinians into pieces?

Did Kinsley bother to look up the definition of apartheid before criticizing Carter for his use of the word?

a•part•heid
1. An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
2. A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.

What conditions laid out in that definition is he disputing? Or is he deliberately refusing to acknowledge the distinction Carter made for his use of the term to only apply to the occupied territories?
In order to make factual and logical rebuttal of the use of the term, Kinsley would have had to actually travel to the occupied territories and report on the conditions of the Palestinians, or even look into what the U.N and other independent organizations have to say about them. Instead he chose to indulge in what J aptly described as "talking about everything but the 800 pound gorilla in the room". Even when the "gorilla" is the subject of the book he is reviewing.

Did Kinsley even bother to read the book? He seems to be getting all worked up over semantics, applying a quite literal analysis of "South African apartheid" as justification for his criticism of Carter's use of the word. As another poster wrote on his site, "China, USSR and Cuba all had slightly different forms of socialism, but the overall principle remains the same ". The analogy fits in enough ways to be considered correct.

Posted by: Zain | December 13, 2006 01:34 PM

Zain:

Your post is a virtual cornucopia of good stuff. I especially love how you accuse Kinsley of not reading the book. You're quite the debater!

However, you didn't do your research. Did you know that Kinsey was the head of AIPAC in 1972 and that his brother went to a Jewish singles mixer at the 92nd STreet Y, in New York - a famous Zionist organization!

I would love to start a blog with you and Annus. Please, e-mail me a J at imaloser dot com.

Thanks!

Posted by: J's Brother | December 13, 2006 04:11 PM

"do you think israels society more advanced than the rest of the world? including the US? Or are you backtracking?"

Huh? Israel is one of the most advanced technological societies in the world. Definitely more advanced than the U.S.. But then again, so are many countries, including India, Japan, much of Europe, etc.

"Btw I have now sent 11 copies of Mr Carter's book to my various bush decorating family and friends (of varied religious background I might add)..."

LOL

You mean, you're not the only dumb goy out there?

Oh. I thought there was only one of you.

Posted by: David | December 13, 2006 04:33 PM

Dave/David/ whoever ....

quoting Lewis on this subject is about as valid as quoting Arafat to debunk dershowitzs fictional offerings....

From a piece about Lewis..

......"Lewis's scholarly mask slips off rather abruptly when he appears on television, a feat that he accomplishes with predictable regularity. Once he is on the air, his polemical self, the Orientalist crouching tiger, takes over, all his sermons about objectivity forgotten, and then he does not shrink from displaying his sneering contempt for the Arabs and Muslims more generally, his blind partisanship for Israel, or his bristling hostility toward Iran. One recent example will suffice here. In a PBS interview broadcast on 16 April 2002, hosted by Charlie Rose, he offered this gem: "Asking Arafat to give up terrorism would be like asking Tiger to give up golf." That is a statement whose malicious intent and vindictive meanness might have been excusable if it came from an official Israeli spokesman."......

Interestingly the main metric for classifying Mr Carter as the "Worst President of........" is the fact that he dared criticise Israel.

I hope he makes millions!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 13, 2006 06:44 PM

from David:

"Huh? Israel is one of the most advanced technological societies in the world. Definitely more advanced than the U.S.. But then again, so are many countries, including India, Japan, much of Europe, etc."


In that case can we please have our billions of dollars back please.

Posted by: Angus | December 13, 2006 06:46 PM

Heard Dennis Ross discussing Carter's book on NPR today (It was a pod cast from a couple of days ago) with Hisham Milhem, a journalist from Al Arabiya. I was pleasantly surprised to find Ross come across as a pretty reasonable interlocutor for the most part. A couple of times he made statements that he ended up contradicting when faced with follow up questions and comments from listeners and Hisham.

At one point he criticized Carter for placing the blame for the violence on the occupation when, in his opinion, the violence that occurred subsequent to the Gaza withdrawal was an indication that the Palestinians could not be responsible even in its absence. But then he agreed with Hisham that the unilateral withdrawal, without any coordination or agreement with the P.A, was a large reason behind the violence that erupted since there was no infrastructure or security apparatus in place to keep rogue elements and violent groups from filling the vacuum left by the Israelis. He emphatically agreed with Hisham that Abbas, realizing the problems that would result, was essentially begging Sharon to not proceed with the unilateral withdrawal.

He also held the ambivalence and disregard of the Bush administration as playing a major role. It did not recognize the need for financial assistance for the area without which accelerated its decline into the chaos we see now. The absence of an economy, and the virtual siege of Gaza that resulted almost immediately afterwards, were all a recipe for disaster and chaos we see in Gaza today.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the discussion was that Ross and Hisham were in agreement that the "contours" of an Israeli Arab peace were pretty much settled; a return to the 1967 borders with minor adjustments here and there and compensation, or land swaps, over those adjustments with the agreement of both sides.

http://www.wamu.org/programs/dr/06/12/11.php#12530

DISCLAIMER:
I have paraphrased their discussion, and "to err is human"; so any errors that might have crept in are unintentional and feel free to point them out (not that some of you need any invitation) :-)

Posted by: Zain | December 13, 2006 09:20 PM

Angus
Just out of curiosity, care to provide who wrote the "piece" on the professor emeritus of Princeton? I fail to see how stating "Asking Arafat to give up terrorism would be like asking Tiger to give up golf" is full of malicious intent and vindictive meanness. Terrorism defined most of Arafat's life so it seems to me to be a perfectly reasonably and accurate analogy.

Posted by: Dave! | December 13, 2006 10:18 PM

Having lived in Palestine for 4 years, I can verify the humiliation and hurt I felt everytime I went through a checkpoint. I lived in house that my great grandfather built on his land, but always with the knowledge that it could be taken away by the Israeli Government. I find it interesting that because someone had something negative to say about the Israeli Policy that they are considered a Jew Hater, because then to their minds its easier to digest. For those people, I would like you to live a day in the life of a Palestinian. We are Muslims and Chrisitians, its not a religious battle for us, but one of being ejected and rejected from the land of our fore fathers.

Posted by: eslam | December 13, 2006 11:56 PM

Eslam says "...its not a religious battle for us, but one of being ejected and rejected from the land of our fore fathers."

If it's strictly about "land of our fore fathers", why aren't Germans commanding suicide bombings in western Poland (which used to be Germany's prior to WWII)? Why aren't Japanese blowing up Chinese for their loss of Manchuria? Why aren't Bolivians blowing up their neighbors? The country lost half of its territory to every single one of its neighbors since its independence, for Pete's sake!

So, as you see, the situation isn't as simple as you portray: Israel bad, Palestinians goods. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the burden isn't on Israel. The cult of victimology does no one good.

Posted by: Matedecoca | December 14, 2006 09:11 AM

In the end, the real crime that occuring in the occupied territories is the presence and constant growth (right up till this very moment) of the settlements.

It is the presence and growth initiative of the ultra right wing settlers that have brought the peace process to a standstill.

If there was only an occupation, the conflict would have ended decades ago.

But how can you deal in good faith with a country who is slowly and literally "wiping your nation off the map" (not just making references to it, but actually doing it) with the help of military might, while simultaneously demanding that you lay down your arms?

How long would the war in Iraq last if we moved millions of American citizens into Iraq and and made the claim that since we managed to successfully invade the country, we now have the god given right to settle a part of it as well.

I would assume that it would ensure that the conflict would have to go on for decades (just as in the O.T.'s) or even much longer because we would have to maintain a military presence in Iraq indefinitly to encircle the "Little America" to both protect its occupants and also to push Iraqis living around the new settlement out of the way when Little America needs to engage in "natural growth" just as the Israeli army does in the O.T's.

Can you even imagine such a thing in todays world? Can you imagine the hate that it would inspire towards the US both in Iraq and from the rest of the world?

Can you imagine how much worse the situation would be if the settlers we sent there were bigots who hated Iraqis, treated them with disdain, heaped constant hardships and indignities on them and then endlessly suggested that they had enough room to live in other arab countries and should just pack up and move there? That is precisely the argument that the settlers and their supporters make, and precisely the way in which many of them treat the Palestinains.

Imagine that Little Americas just started popping up all over Iraq, and each needed to be connected by roads that criss crossed all over the the Iraqi nation. Imagine that each of these roads was also then considered to be a piece of little America and Iraqis could not travel on them or even cross them without permission.

Imagine that this occupation and settlement movement ruined the Iraqi economy for good, consigning its people to be used as cheap labor for US and little america interests and creating a culture of despair and hatred in the Iraqi People.

What if after this, we just decided that since Iraq was really a formulation of the British, that there never really were any "Iraqis" in the first place, as Golda Mier suggested?

Now imagine how much this would cost the US to sustain for decades. Imagine the terrorism it would inspire against us world wide.

eventually, we would go broke, and would have to ask, well.... I guess maybe a consortium of China, Russia and the EU to help financially prop us up until this mess "sorted itseld out".

God willing, at the point that we actually couldn't financially support this madness on our own anymore, other countries would just do us a huge favor and say "we are not giving you a dime until you PULL OUT COMPLETELY!!!!".

J

Posted by: J | December 14, 2006 11:28 AM

J
"It is the presence and growth initiative of the ultra right wing settlers that have brought the peace process to a standstill."
Well, that and the suicide bombings and mortars, the walking away from peace deals, the kidnapping of soldiers, maintaining that Israel should not exist in the Middle East, being attacked numerous times in your relatively short history and the election of Hamas. But other than that your right.

Posted by: Dave! | December 14, 2006 11:45 AM

eslam
"Having lived in Palestine for 4 years, I can verify the humiliation and hurt I felt everytime I went through a checkpoint."
Aside from the fact that there is currently no country called "Palestine", your feelings are probably akin to the feelings of an Israeli when they get on a bus and have that real fear that it may be their last ride, that they may or may not be blown to shreds. Not having lived in the ME, i cannot empathize with either but i can sympathize with the feelings on both sides.

Posted by: Dave! | December 14, 2006 11:56 AM

Dave!,

Perhaps the thing you are overlooking is that more people die in traffic accidents in Israel every year than die of suicide bombings. It is a real fear, but a small one relatively speaking. Otherwise their lives are much like Americans lives.

On the other hand, while 3 times as many Palestinians die as the the result of Israeli military actions than Israelis, Millions of Palestinians, virually all of them, live in the manner described by Eslam, robbed completely of the ability to have a decent life for themselves or their children as the direct result of the settlements and the occupation that supports them. Take the settlers out of the equation , who have absolutely no right to be there in the first place (anymore than US civilians have the right to "settle" Iraq), and peace would be infinitley more acheivable.


That people would fight against that sort of thing is only natural. I fail to see how you can not put blame upon the settlers and their supporters in axacerbating and prolonging this ongoing nightmare and their role in inspiring terror both in the ME and woldwide.

J

Posted by: J | December 14, 2006 06:53 PM

Dave!:

The suicide bombings are horrible and barbaric and should be condemned because they are only complicating the negotiating process for the Palestinians. You are however completely ignoring the causations behind them (and the other violence) by equating the "feelings of an Israeli when he gets on a bus" with the DAILY grind of an occupation that has destroyed the economic and social fabric of the Palestinians. As far as I can tell (J may know better) the suicide bombings did not start until the early to mid nineties. How many years had the Palestinians been under occupation by then? How much humiliation, death and suffering had they endured by then?

Condemn suicide bombings all you want, as they should be, but if the violence is to be stopped in totality, if long term peace is to be achieved, then do not ignore the most important reasons behind the violence; the occupation and the settlements. As long as they remain, as long as the Palestinians continue to be deprived of any semblance a "normal life", those who wish to perpetrate violence will find a steady supply of volunteers, who are desperate and without hope, to carry out attacks; whether they be suicide or rockets.

The same pattern has existed in Afghanistan for decades; we see it in the insurgency in Iraq; how many times does it have to be repeated before it hits policy makers that without normalcy, and without tangible steps towards a sovereign and hopeful future for the majority of the peoples in these regions, none of these problems are going to be resolved.

I know you disagree with me on this Dave. I have argued in favor of Pakistan's policy of "engaging" the tribes and the Taliban because otherwise I see Pakistan too spiraling into the chaos of Afghanistan, while you believe it is the price societies must pay to achieve that goal. So far though, there is absolutely no sign that the military only policy in either Iraq or Afghanistan is going to work, and without the Arabs seeing a tangible framework towards a return of their land (1967 borders), it is not going to work in the OT either.

Dennis Ross, in the interview I posted about earlier, pointed out that in the ten years of the Clinton administration "engaging" and pushing the Israeli's and Palestinians to talk, and continuing to push them into dialog regardless of the setbacks, the deaths on both sides were a fourth of the deaths that have occurred in the six years of our "Born Again Christian", feeble excuse of a Commander in Chief.

Posted by: Zain | December 14, 2006 07:07 PM

dave?

It was from counterpunch - and of course you fail to see how bernard lewis is just another pro israeli bigot....any basic internet search gives plenty of data to show his true colors...

its the same myopia that all you guys have - you feel that you have a god given right to ride roughshod over the will of others...a massive superiority complex.

if we want to talk terrorism lets also bring in begin, shamir, meir, barak, sharon and pretty much every leader israel has ever had...there's plenty of bloody hands in this mess...and they ain't all on the Palestinian side.

3 more Carter books sent as gifts today!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 14, 2006 10:28 PM

J,
Your comparison between the numbers of people dying via suicide bombings vs. traffic accidents is insulting. Since a lot more than 3000 people die in the US of traffic accidents, should we disregard the impact of 9-11? You are making excuses for suicide bombers and the people that support them. There are people all over this world who have had their land taken from them and forced to live in conditions that were less than acceptable. Most, if not all, did not resort to terrorism and suicide bombing. Read the post by Matedecoca above for examples.

Zain
Suicide bombings by Hamas (founded in 87) begain in the early 90s (but they used other, shall we say, less effective forms of terrorism prior to that). Israel, however, has had to deal with suicide bombings since 1972. I am not ignoring the causations behind them, i am just not excusing it. When you on one hand say they should be condemned and on the other say that it is to be expected, that is, in a sense, excusing the actions. Perhaps when people stop thinking "well its to be expected given the circumstances", then things will improve. Optimistic i'm not.

For 8 years (really the last 1 or 2 when he was worried about his legacy), the Clinton administration was "engaging" and pushing the Israeli's and Palestinians to talk, and continuing to push them into dialog regardless of the setbacks and what did it get the US? 911 (not saying Clinton was responsible for 911, saying that being engaged did not seem to pacify people in the ME). But more importantly, what did it get the Israelis or Palestinians? Were there any breakthroughs? Was peace any closer? Were there any significant changes in positions? The answer is obviously no since we are blogging about it today. One can argue that since Clinton set up the parties for failure (that is my understanding of the Palestinian version - it was too rushed with too much pressure and not enough was worked out before hand for Arafat to be able to make a deal), that failure and the resulting actions from it are playing a large part in the current cycle of violence.

You say that a military only policy is not working. (I'd actually consider myself a military first, not only, kind of guy). Realistically, we are at least 10 years away from seeing if Iraq and Afghanistan are a success or failure (admittedly does not look good now and i would not bet my rent money on success). But I don't see that "engaging" has been very fruitful either. What is being proposed is not the Palestinians and Israelis making a deal or going to the bargaining table because that requires give and take on both sides. What is being proposed is asking Israel to give and give and give. That is not a realistic way of solving problems, especially one as complex as this.

Posted by: Dave! | December 14, 2006 10:39 PM

Angus
So the description of Lewis comes from M.Shahid Alam, an econ professor at Northwestern. I guess that carries about as much weight in this discussion as my opinion. Perhaps not as much considering some of his views...like comparing the American colonists to the 911 terrorist -
"On September 11, 2001, nineteen Arab hijackers too demonstrated their willingness to die and to kill for their dream. They died so that their people might live, free and in dignity. The manner of their death and the destruction it wreaked is not merely a testament to the vulnerabilities that modern technology has created to clandestine attacks. After all, skyscrapers and airplanes have co-existed peacefully for many decades. The attacks of 9-11 were in many ways a work of daring and imagination too; if one can think objectively of such horrors. They were a cataclysmic summation of the history of Western depredations in the Middle East: the history of a unity dismembered, of societies manipulated by surrogates, of development derailed and disrupted, of a people dispossessed. The explosion of 9-11 was indeed a "shot heard 'round the world.""

Posted by: Dave! | December 14, 2006 11:05 PM

Angus
"its the same myopia that all you guys have - you feel that you have a god given right to ride roughshod over the will of others...a massive superiority complex." If the will of others is sadistic, evil, terroristic, anti-freedom and anti-liberty, and anti-American then yeah. But I don't recall us guys wanting to ride roughshod over Switzerland.

Posted by: Dave! | December 14, 2006 11:13 PM

All of you posters, on both sides of the debate, are missing the big picture -- President Carter will be paying a few visits to Iowa late next year. What type of buzz do you think that will generate in the polls? If he does nothing else, Carter as an '08 candidate will be formidable. The age issue is a nonstarter, since Reagan could have probably won a 3rd term if he'd been eligible to run in '88 (RR would have been in his 80s in a 3rd term). Just as it took the average citizens of this country a generation to fully appreciate tell-it-like-it-is Harry Truman, the same now holds true for Jimmy Carter. His first term obviously didn't get him on Mt. Rushmore (it didn't help that he inherited a skidding economy). Still, his actions over the last 25 years with the Carter Center provide a compelling argument to have him run the show again. Unlike the rest of you -- I'm fairly certain -- I'm a friend of Jimmy's. And knowing him like I do, I just feel instinctively he's going to make the rounds in Iowa late next year, and then consider whether to throw his hat in the ring.

Posted by: Harry | December 14, 2006 11:33 PM

Harry
While it may be, um, interesting watching him run, age would be a factor - 88 at the end of the term. And i got one word for you - stagflation.

Posted by: Dave! | December 15, 2006 12:18 AM

Face it, Carter is a loser trying to get back in the game.

Posted by: bloglogger | December 15, 2006 08:33 AM

"I am not ignoring the causations behind them, i am just not excusing it. When you on one hand say they should be condemned and on the other say that it is to be expected, that is, in a sense, excusing the actions."

One good thing is that we agree there are "factors" that cause these attacks to take place. I call that a good thing because a lot of times there is a tendency to dismiss the effects of the occupation and instead just rant at the "evil, Muslims" who cannot be "reasoned" with.

I am not sure how you can suggest that my pointing out the motivations behind the attacks, and the "environment" that breeds the ideology and recruits to continue to fuel those attacks, is excusing them. I am trying to point out that condemning them from here to Timbuktu is not going to stop the violence. I am trying to point out that desperation, lack of hope and the suffering these people endure everyday is what creates the catalyst for the violence. How on earth can you address the violence without "fixing" the issues that lead to it? Tell the Palestinians to just "trust" the Israelis?

This isn't just any other international negotiation. It is negotiation between a suppressed, occupied people and their occupier. The side that needs to inculcate trust is Israel. They hold all the cards. They refuse to negotiate until the Palestinians "stop the violence" and "recognize Israel's right to exist", while at the same time building settlements on the land that is supposed to be negotiated on; land that is internationally recognized to be Arab land; land that Israel is required to return to the Arabs per U.N Security Council resolutions. How are the Palestinians supposed to trust Israel's intentions when they do this? It's nothing but a blatant land grab. I mean what do the Israelis think this is? Some sort of game show where, if you do not answer the question in the time they think is appropriate, your "prize" keeps getting smaller and smaller?

Once again condemning the violence is fine, but you cannot resolve problems without addressing the root causes behind them. That is not excusing the violence, its being realistic, pragmatic and sincere about finding a true solution to the problems and ending the violence.

Posted by: Zain | December 15, 2006 08:47 AM

Dave!

That was an observation of someone from Israel, in an attempt to persuade others that it is actually quite safe to travel there. It is also an accurate description of the relative risk of being killed by suicide attack in Israel. Suicide bombings are, of course, always tragic. But those are the numbers. And, as I said, otherwise Israelis have lives that resemble an American existance.

You, however, seem absolutely numb to the fact that the entire lifespans of generations of Palestinians have been reduced to one of the lowest levels of existance on this planet.

And not, I might add, over the security of Israel which is overall quite safe, but rather, due to the illegal, universally condemned desires of a minority of the Israeli population to steal land that does not belong to them.

Regarding 9/11, It is, of course, a huge tragedy. But when Bin laden says that he conceived of it when he saw US made Israeli Jets destroying towers in Lebanon, and other captured top lieutenant's tell interrogators that the primary reason that they work for al qeada is because of Isreal's treatment of the palestinians and our support of Israel in maintaining these policies, One must conclude that the Isreali settler movement and our finanancial support of it are at least partially or even mostly to blame for the terrorism that we are fighting agasint.

These are people who, due to their utter lack of moral reasoning, are happy to let the teenage kids of normal Israelis stand in a circle as human shields around them as they attempt to steal the land of others. They are happy to watch the suicide bombings in Israel which are inspired by their internationally condemned behavior, and perfectly content to see the tragedy of 9/11 unfold, which many people in our intelligence community and government know is largley inspired by Israels ongoing promotion of the settler movment. In fact, some settlers saw 9/11 (Netanyahu made a very fruedian slip regarding this) as a good thing in that they expected america to finally join in and actively start fighting the battles they inspire in teh region for them, which to many people's horror, we have.

Most Normal Israelis saw this as the absolute sign that the morally corrupt and financiallly crushing settlements HAD TO GO, and thus, the Kadima party was formed.

Some head way was made, but boh sides are now just to dysfunctional to do it on their own. We, the US, need to pull the plug on the funding and UN support for Israel entirely until they agree to withdraw completely and allow the UN to send in peace keepers, with a mostly arab peace keeping force.

When the US settlement welfare money stops flowing, those people (the settlers) will finally have to pack up and get a real life, In green line Isreal, Just like everybody else.

Form a purely capitolist, free market perspective, this makes perfect sense as well. If you have a company which you have invested huge amounts of money in for 40 plus years, that not only does not stabilize or turn a profit, but rather turns around and creates an even bigger liability of trillions in terrorism, and the subsequent war on terror, it's time to pull the financial plug. ASAP.

J


Posted by: J | December 15, 2006 12:10 PM

Zzzzzzz

Posted by: Zzzzzzzz | December 15, 2006 02:13 PM

Dave,

That stagflation you mentioned began under Nixon/Ford, and the cycle bottomed out under Carter. As I said, he inherited a shaky economy to begin with.

Putting that aside, I need to do a Tony Snow and admit I was wrong on the Carter- to-Iowa instinct I had. Sure I know he'd be 88 at the end his term if he was miraculously re-elected, but there are some fortunate seniors, such as Robert Byrd, who have retained their sharpness even as they approach 90.

Carter said he was trying to provoke debate about his book. Dershowitz called him on that statement today and offered to debate JC. To my great disappointment, Carter brushed the offer aside. Apparently, JC wants to leave the debate to others, and not participate in a debate himself. So, obviously, if he has no interest in taking on Dershowitz, he'd want no part in debating candidates for the nomination.

Dem or Repub, I just prefer going with the experienced guy, who is confident he knows a lot more at 80 than he did at 60. I'd be happy with Carter or Bush 41 back in charge. But this is all delusional, in any event.

Posted by: harry | December 15, 2006 04:34 PM

Harry
Byrd is no longer what i would call "sharp" (other adjectives come to mind but that's a different blog). "the cycle bottomed out under Carter" - perhaps better stated the cycle reached its peak. But agreed that it started under Nixon/Ford (and caused in large part by Johnson).

All that said, i actually think that its unfortunate that Carter won't debate Dershowitz as i think that would have been a very instructive debate on the merits of Carter's position. One would think it would also be good for sales.

Posted by: Dave! | December 15, 2006 04:54 PM

Looks like Carter chickened out of a debate with Alan Dershowitz.

When challenged, he doesn't even bother to make an argument.

Just like the losers on this board.

http://www.forbes.com/business/manufacturing/feeds/ap/2006/12/15/ap3259457.html

Posted by: David | December 15, 2006 05:03 PM

J
Traveling to Israel is relatively safe but the discussion was not about going on holiday there and statistics really don't matter. That has nothing to do with living there with the (daily) fear that a bomb may go off on your way to work, to a wedding, to a cafe... It's not the risk of death, it's the living in fear of death. Risk is relative - for suicide bombings, its certainly riskier in Israel than the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, China, Russia,... I'll put it like this. I live in the Wash DC area. During the DC sniper episode, i knew my chances of actually getting shot were miniscule. But i still lived in fear, changed when i went out, changed how my kids went to school.

"You, however, seem absolutely numb to the fact that the entire lifespans of generations of Palestinians have been reduced to one of the lowest levels of existance on this planet." I'm not numb to it, i'm not pretending its an easy life. But i don't have to look very hard to find a people in a substantially worse condition so i would say "lowest levels of existance on this planet" is hyperbole.

"due to the illegal, universally condemned desires of a minority of the Israeli population to steal land that does not belong to them." Again, land won in war, not stolen. If the Arab League had actually managed to win one of the wars and gain some land of Israel, do you really think that they would have just given it back? As they were trying to get rid of Israel completely, that seems, hypothetically at least, unlikely. The UN resolutions have more to them than Israel's return of the land, that is not the sole condition. Just for the record, Resolution 242:
Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of BOTH [my emphasis] the following principles:
Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
Affirms further the necessity
For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;

Posted by: | December 15, 2006 05:42 PM

Doh! My anon alter ego strike again.

Posted by: Dave! | December 15, 2006 05:49 PM

I just remembered that when Carter was in office, when he felt his position was the correct one, he didn't have much interest in lobbying Congress for whatever bill he was hoping to have passed. He would largely ignore Congress, and announce his position in a televised speech or press conference, and then let constituent pressure come down on the dissenters in the House and Senate.

In this case, he's ignoring tough critics such as Dershowitz by letting the book speak for itself, while making the rounds on mostly friendly talk shows (he's been challenged here and there, especially by the C-Span caller who referred to Carter as an anti-Semite, but none of this would equal a back and forth Carter-Dershowitz debate). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure he hasn't appeared on FOX.

Your description of the Carter cycle was better than mine, and you were also right about trouble taking root under LBJ.

Maybe I put too much emphasis on honesty in government -- that's why I've always been a Carter man. Heck, Hoover was regarded as an honest man as well, but that didn't help his administration. Engineers are usually adept at problem solving, but not at providing vision, which seems to describe Hoover and Carter Still, Carter should get his due on Camp David, his warnings on energy, deregulating the airline and trucking industries, and human rights -- so I don't want to make a sweeping statement that Carter had zero vision. Didn't mean to get into a debate with myself about Carter, as much as I admire him.

Posted by: Harry | December 15, 2006 06:15 PM

David,

The assertion that Carter "chickened out" of a debate with Dershowitz implies that he was afraid to discuss the merits of his arguments. That's doubtful. Carter's efforts to date suggest he's very open to calm, rational, civil discourse.

It seems more likely that he doesn't want to debate someone whose primary m.o. is to kick up a lot of dust and scream "anti-Semite" at anyone who criticizes Israel and its more rabid supporters (see, e.g., Dershowitz's hit piece response to the Walt and Mearsheimer article). Classic smokescreen tactics.

He's so out of control he had the audacity to assert that Walt and Mearsheimer had ruined their academic reputations (perhaps he didn't know that Mearsheimer is considered a very heavy hitter in the IR world, and Walt isn't too far behind), and that Walt had possibly plagiarized information from hate sites which, in his opinion, would have been a terminable offense.

Dershowitz isn't so bombastic now that others who actually know something about world affairs have stood up and said that much of what M & W asserted was well known (e.g., Brzezinski); that they were serious scholars who needed to be taken seriously (e.g., Sam Huntington); after they got a fat book contract from Farrar, Straus and Giroux to expand their thesis; and now that, nine months later, there's no indication that Harvard's taking seriously the plagiarism allegation.

Dershowitz is amusing in-so-far as he's actually become something of a caricature of himself (a truly astonishing feat).

As a serious person, Carter's wise not to engage a buffoon like Dershowitz.

Posted by: LWP | December 15, 2006 08:44 PM

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jimmy Carter. I think it would have taken a lot more courage from a different man but as an ex-President, he has the luxury of expressing his opinions with most of his glory behind him. He speaks the truth, God bless him.

Posted by: KathyW | December 16, 2006 02:55 PM

david! yet another shallow argument...Alam never said anywhere that he condones the actions of the suicidal a*sholes who blew up the Towers...and what up with the switzerland analogy!!! israel has zero respect for international borders including here in the U.S. you may have forgotten about jonathon pollard but many here have not...the israeli government is still lobbying for this trators release...the actions of a friend ...I think not.....also your not so subtle linkage in this post implying that the Palestinian cause is "anti - American" is flat out zionist propoganda...if israel was so widely loved in the US there would be no need for the massive PR campaign that we have to endure nor the almost legislated acceptance we are forced to tolerate...

Posted by: Angus | December 16, 2006 05:29 PM

LWP you could not have said it better ...even though I think calling dershowitz a buffoon is too kind....this is the worthless piece of sh*t who recently claimed "no-one shed more tears than I for the children of lebanon" in israels most recent terrorist campaign.

Mr Carter shows his wisdom by choosing not to lower himself and debate with a man who acts as a US agent for a foreign power.

Here is an excellent debunk of dershowitz that shows debating him is about as useful as debating an amoeba...

http://www.obelus.org/index.php?artID=3


Posted by: Angus | December 16, 2006 05:37 PM

Whenever anyone says anything negative about Israel he/she gets raked over biased (pro-Zionist) coals. Same thing happened just now with Carter. I admire his strenght and courage, especially for a guy at age +80. Also I agree with him, Israel is identical to the old South-African Apartheid. It takes people like him to call a spate a spate. Let's hope he has some old buddies at his level of seniority that will support him - even if not, the many books sold already tell us that he is right. Next step, translate in various languages: French, German, Russian, albnl Arabic.

Posted by: Fred - Manhattan | December 16, 2006 05:52 PM

This speaks for itself. Zogby from A
Huffpo blog about recent poll results.


enjoy,

J


Revealing the Obvious (8 comments )
READ MORE: Iraq, 2006, Israel, Lebanon, George W. Bush
Sometimes polling reveals the obvious. And sometimes the obvious needs to be revealed.

Our most recent Arab American Institute/Zogby International (AAI/ZI) survey of Arab public opinion demonstrates that overall attitudes toward the US have worsened, and that negative attitudes have hardened.

Here's the obvious: the two principal factors accounting for this animosity are US policy toward Iraq and Palestine.

In four of the five Arab countries covered in our 2006 survey (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan) respondents pointed to US policies in those two areas as the major reasons for their negative attitudes toward the US. Only Lebanon was different. There, of course, US policy toward this summer's war on Lebanon was the main source of animosity.

It becomes important to state the obvious in the face of the harsh and misguided criticism being leveled at the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group (ISG) report. The ISG critics pretend: (1) that the US has no significant credibility problem that impedes our ability to function in the Middle East, and (2) that in any case, US behavior toward the Palestinians is inconsequential to this discussion.

The reality is that the US has a huge (and growing) problem in the Arab world and both Iraq and Palestine are central to it.

In our 2006 AAI/ZI poll, we found that overall favorable attitudes toward the US plummeted precipitously in Morocco and Jordan (from the mid 30 percent range in 2005 to single digits this year). In Egypt and Saudi Arabia our already low favorable ratings (14% and 12% respectively) didn't change, but negative attitudes hardened. In Lebanon, too, favorable attitudes didn't change, but this reflects that country's deep sectarian divide - with Lebanese Shi'a bitterly hostile toward the US, Sunni Muslims in Lebanon also having strong negative attitudes toward the US, while, Lebanese Christians are split in their views.

What ought to be of special concern to US leaders is what I have termed the "hardening" of the negatives. Not only have "unfavorable" attitudes now become "very unfavorable", but Arab appreciation of other aspects of American life have also suffered.

Back in 2002 when we conducted our first AAI/ZI poll across the region, we found that while overall attitudes were negative, these were pure and simple a function of frustration with US policy. Despite this, we found in 2002 that Arabs still liked "American freedom and democracy", "American people" and American products and culture. Not so in 2006. The steady drip, drip, drip of bad policies has eroded once favorable attitudes toward American people, products and values. Only US education gets favorable ratings in all Arab countries, while "American freedom and democracy" and "American products" receive net favorable ratings only in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

What all this means, of course, is that the Middle East policies pursued by the Bush Administration have not only put the US at risk in the region, they also potentially compromise our people, our ability to business and our relationships with Arab allies.

Given this reality, it is bizarre for Washington policy makers to talk cavalierly about forming a US-Arab (and Israeli!) alliance to confront Iran. As I have said before, it is either disingenuous or just plain dumb, for ISG critics to argue that there is no linkage between US policies in Palestine and the Administration's ability to build strong regional partnerships to stabilize Iraq and confront Iran's nuclear ambition.

One need only recall how in 1990-1991, then President George H. W. Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker successfully mobilized an international coalition to roll back Sadaam's invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Despite the raging of pro-Israel critics, Bush and Baker recognized regional linkages. They, therefore, committed the US to a post-war international conference to promote a comprehensive Middle East peace. This enhanced that Administration's regional credibility, setting the stage for the liberation of Kuwait and the convening of the Madrid peace conference.

Since the results of this conference were less than satisfactory and given the fact that Arab support was strained by the collapse of the interminable and directionless peace process that followed Madrid, this time, much more than merely the promise of a conference or peace process will be required to earn Arab trust. There will have to be performance.

With performance, will come enhanced US credibility. And with that, greater opportunity to promote regional efforts to stabilize Iraq and promote security. But the linkage is there, and failing to recognize it will only put the Administration and its allies at risk.

Obvious? Yes, but with hard numbers to validate the obvious.

Posted by: J | December 16, 2006 07:51 PM

So does anyone know if they say Happy Holidays in Israel and if Christians bully them into placing Christmas trees in their airports?

I really want to know.

Posted by: Santa | December 16, 2006 07:55 PM

I think that J and Angus like to drop the soap in the shower if you know what I mean!

Posted by: Tooth Fairy | December 18, 2006 01:26 PM

Zain it is nice to see that they have let you leave the "institution" now go hoem and "relax" for a while before falling back into you insane blogging!

Posted by: Sigmund | December 18, 2006 01:29 PM

I hear that Angus has a thing for little boys!

Posted by: Chester | December 18, 2006 02:09 PM

Angus my friend I have a thing for little boys too.

Posted by: Jimmy Carter | December 18, 2006 02:14 PM

Dave!

If ,as you say, Israel "won" the O.T.s in a war, then it's residents are residents of Israel. If that's the case, then the term Apartheid fits perfectly, because the entire arab population of the O.T.s are, by official edict, subjected to a life that is criminally deficient in every respect, in stark contrast to other Israeli's who live lives much like ours.

Keep in mind, almost the entire united states, along with the rest of the world , boycotted South Africa for such a crime.


If not, ( and virtually the rest of the world, including the US, holds that opinion )then, as Carter maintains, the treatment of the Palestinians is actually much worse than Apartheid, but there is not yet a universally accepted term that describes their treatment, so apartheid will have to suffice.

If, by the way, the plan is to kick them out of all or even part of the O.T.s eventually, that is known as ethnic cleansing.

The U.S. has Bombed other countries for that type of crime.

Your Ideas, thoughts, additions?

J

Posted by: J | December 18, 2006 03:32 PM

Screw you Chester the Molester I have a things for little girls too.

Posted by: Angus | December 18, 2006 03:32 PM

J,

If you could explain exactly what US policies changed between 2005 and 2006 to merit such a change in attitude, that would be enlightening. The article does not point out those things either. Instead we get generic statements like "the Middle East policies pursued by the Bush Administration have not only put the US at risk in the region". Between 2005 and 2006, my recollection is that the US was really on the "stay the course" mode for the middle east, especially Iraq, much to many peoples chagrin. There were no major (or minor) changes in policy during that time than time or over the previous 3 or so years. So what is the linkage? It is either disingenuous or just plain dumb to say there is linkage based on data from one poll (from a partisan Arab btw) and drawing a conclusion from that data that does not make sense.

Posted by: Dave! | December 18, 2006 03:48 PM

When I read this blog I start to understand why the Jews have been persecuted in history.

My prediction. They will be again! Only a question of time!

Posted by: Ben | December 18, 2006 07:29 PM

Great comments guys - I seem to remember this tactic before ....the iapac traitors resorting to posting their homo-erotic fantasies.

I had heard that iapac was considering partnering with NAMBLA - I guess it must be so.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you all...I am off to visit with my bush decorating compatriots for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: Angus (the real one) | December 18, 2006 10:24 PM

I guess the truth hurts Angus!

Posted by: Sammi | December 19, 2006 11:24 AM

I guess the truth hurts Angus you anti-semitic pice of crap!

Posted by: Sam | December 19, 2006 11:26 AM

WOW...Where to start, I feel like at first this was a conversation which may have entailed some intelligence or an actual discussion, i guess i was wrong.
Both sides have a measure of merit. Are the Isrealis perfect? Not by a long shot. However they are attempting to do what they can tro protect their citizens. I couldn't possibly go through all the comments discussed here so a couple quick points
1) If you say Israel should give back the territories they got from the '67 and '73 wars, the US should follow by example and give back...EVERYTHING. What we didn't win through wars we won through trickery or conning the other side, simple as that. I support a withdrawl from the West Bank as I did from Gaza, but to say that Israel should go back to its old borders (BTW with people surrounding them who say they dont exist/have no right to exist) is ludicrious.
2) There is no mass jewish conspiracy and if you really believe there is put down "The protcols of the Elders of Zion" and read actual history
3) The Israelis are out ally because they are the ONLY country in the Middle East where human rights are respected, including free speech, RELIGION, right to vote etc
4) The OT are not part of Israel due to their own decisions. The stance of the PA is to not be a part of Israel and not declare themselves a country (so they leave themselves purposely stuck in the middle)
5) One more question, while I agree the humilation which Palestinians go through is horrible, how do you propose Israel protects her citizens?

Posted by: JA | December 19, 2006 11:41 AM

Dave!,

You could go read Zogby's results yourself,
but I guess I will say that I suppose the reason that people in the middle easts opinions of the US have declined greatly is because the Iraq War has melted down into an absolute disaster (think abu ghraib forward) just as the US decides to simultaneously cut off all funding to the Palestininians as punishment for democratically electing the wrong people, while Israel's military kills hundreds of innocent people ( a very high percentage of which are children) in raids on the O.T's.

None of this is especially difficult information to come by, if for instance, you have read a news paper or watched the news during the last several years.

BTW, I am still wondering what you think;

based on the logic given in my last post, are the O.T.s part of Israel, or not?

J

Posted by: J | December 19, 2006 04:39 PM

The only thing sensible to say is:

Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by: Hunky Santa | December 21, 2006 08:25 AM

All of you infidels will die a horrible death!

Posted by: Prophet Mohammed | December 21, 2006 03:55 PM

I meant to say:

All of you gentiles will die a horrible death as we recreate our dream of a Greater Israel!!!

Posted by: Zionist | December 21, 2006 07:42 PM

Israel is a bully that as result of its supporters, AIPAC and the USA media, has unconditional endorsement by American politicians, and US media dumbed-down-Americans. No serious politician desiring not to be smeared can promote serious debate in America concerning Israel and its barbaric treatment of indegenous-semites in the lands it desires to annex.

In short, Israel is dragging America down the tubes. Sadly, Americans are too bussy working to pay serious attention. When they wake up it will likely be too late. US politician's unconditional support for Israel, (in exchange for good media coverage and AIPAC support), has led to the big mess the USA finds itself at this juncture. The US should be looking out for its interests in the region, and providing unconditional support to the regional neo-colonial bully is not the way to do it.

Those interested in learning more about the situation would do well to watch the following 10 minute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4MdyJDnSoI

Also read the following article written by two scholars, one from Harvard and the other from the University of Chicago:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html

Those interested in exploring the terrible situation that America finds itself in would do well to explore the following book by a former US congressman:

They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby
by Paul Findley

A link to the book is available here:

http://tinyurl.com/ykeyr5


Posted by: John Smithson | December 22, 2006 09:54 AM

I like "Merry Christmas!" more.

It's not boring.

Posted by: Hunky Santa | December 22, 2006 12:51 PM

This blog is encouraging. It shows that people are trying to debate the issues raised by former President Carter's book. In reading the comments I try to stick to those that discuss the evidence and ignore those that attack the messenger. Unlike some, I'm uncertain as to where truth and justice lie. Marshall Foreman

Posted by: Marshall Foreman | December 22, 2006 08:33 PM

I think Carter is on the money with his correlation of Isreal with the racist practices of apartied of the old white supremacist regime in South Africa. Isreal was actually a quiet ally of that regime at one point.
Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza live in a virtual prison and cannot freely move, have their land confiscated by European or American Jewish settlers and face daily the death and humiliation at the hands of the Isreali army. America is one of the few countries on earth where criticizing Isreal can ruin you career and your life. Nancy Pelosi and the other democrats who criticized Carter are simply pandering to the powerful AIPAC and other lobbies because their positions in the government depend on it. They know the truth but their careers would be destroyed if they spoke it...That's such a tragedy because Palestinians have historically respected US influence and power in the region and have not directed their frustration towards the US or Americans.
Unfortunately in the US , you cannot criticize Isreal without dealing with the charges of being anti-Semitic or a Jew hater... I know many of my Jewish friends even disagree with Isreali govt policy and try hard to distance themselves from it. There is even an open debate in Isreal on these issues. American policy seems to be more aligned with the extremist right wing in the Knesset than with a country working for Peace in the Middle East. I actually hear some right wingers in media calling for the transfer of Palestinians to Jordan or other Arab countries to solve this issue. They clearly advocate ethnic cleansing of a population and this goes against all the democratic and humanitarian values that the US is supposed to uphold. This attitude will not help the US with Arab public opinion or the Iraq situation.
In any case, Carter is not anti-Semitic or a Jew hater. If anything he probably cares more for the plight of Isreal than many of his pro-Isreali critics do.
He just wants peace, he worked hard for it and if we had a person of his character in the white house today. We would be much closer to achieving it.

Posted by: charles | December 25, 2006 03:19 PM

We can debate till the cows come home trying to make the point to Israel sympathizers that the situation in Palestine reeeally is an apartheid, even of a more pernicious kind. I think we are succeeding in convincing average Americans that it is, judging by the success of Carter's book which is on New York Times Best Seller's List now.

The attitude of Israel boosters on this forum and others seems to be that Israel has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this debate--it explains their sometimes blatant arrogance. The worst thing that could happen is giving up the occupied lands. 3 billion dollar annual remittance from American tax payers--$500 per Israeli-- will still be there, so why not go for it all; gradual strangulation of Palestinian/Arab occupied lands until all of it becomes Israel's? -- keep on taking while the taking is good, strike the anvil while the iron is hot.

First of all, no matter what does or does not happen, America MUST STOP its annual $3B financing of the IDF. Buying cluster bombs, tanks, and bulldozers for Israel is NOT in our national interest. It is the mother cause of the Terror War we are engaged in. Israel in not a democracy; its goal is racial hegemony; Israel for Jews. Besides, whether it is or is not a democracy, we shouldn't give a hill of beans. Being on Israel's side is clearly and presently detrimental to U.S. national security. I am fully convinced that 9/11 would not have happened without our aiding and abetting of the state of Israel.

What would happen without American $3B? Military campaigns and occupations are expensive. I would expect that Israel would no longer be able to afford to be belligerent and war mongering. The consequence would be peace by default. However, should this not occur, U.S. must lead the world in across the board economic sanctions against Israel, just like the sanctions against the South African regime, except much more severer, because now American national security is directly at stake.

If this leads to the collapse of the state of Israel, it would be an added bonus, leading to the state of United Palestine where Jews and Arabs live in real equality, much like the current South Africa, considered a success story by most Africa watchers. It may require U.S. and world intervention to maintain security and stability for the citizens of the new state, but this is a security detail with a positive outcome for all, especially for the Middle East AND for America. "The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now"(Richard Cohen,7/18/06,"Hunker Down with History", Washington Post).

The root cause of Israeli evil leading to the War on Terror, then, is American money. We should be hammering away at this money until the cows come home and may be then we will have American national security -- and of course, peace in the Middle East. Lets spread the word and vote out the rest of the Neocons and Neoliberals(pro-war/Israel liberals like Kerry, Hillary, and Lieberman) in 2008. Incidentally, Pelosi and "Silver" Reyes, the new chair of the House Intelligence Committee, both voted against the Iraq war. Congress and the White House could use a sea change. Support for and from AIPAC should become synonymous to child molestation. AIPAC must become political leprosy. We have work to do. Voting is the LEAST we could do. Lets gather our strength and join a good organization, like the Council for the National Interest. I am a new member since the August Lebanon war. Maybe there are other good organizations I do not know about. That is certainly a possibility. Lets join, gather our strength, read Carter's book, give it way as gifts(more power to you Angus) and open your wallets and GIVE. Israel boosters sure are giving. We will only win when we can out give them. They may have the money, but WE HAVE NUMBER on our side.

Happy holidays, Hanuka, and Merry Christmas

Posted by: jacob | December 25, 2006 10:45 PM

John Smithson,

Thanks for the YouTube link. I have just watched it and it was great. While reading some of the comments, I came across this

Google Video -- "Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land". http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7828123714384920696&q=Peace%2C+Propaganda+%26+the+Promised+Land

It was 1hr20min long but IT WAS WORTH EVERY SECOND. It was viewed 880,000 times! Things are looking good. It details the structure of Israeli media propaganda in the U.S. layer by layer. To me it explains why average Americans, who, though not perfect as the world already knows, are nevertheless mostly fair-minded and decent on issues of peace and justice(witness the billions in private giving to tzunami relief efforts in Indonesia) when shown the truth, are so completely in the dark about the reality of the plight of the Palestinians.

My reflections on seeing the second video is that Israelis have not earned the right to live in Israel. This goes for both the right-wing hardline orthodox Jews as well as the progressive, liberal Jews who are against the occupation. Why are progressive Jews SO INEFFECTIVE? Are there really so few of them in Israel and in the U.S. and in the world abroad, that they can't make a difference, try as hard as they might? Or, are they just all words and no action. By action, I mean making serious, sustained, and concerted public campaign and gathering of resources, think tanks, and MONEY to combat the hardliners, precisely what the hardliners have done to control the U.S. media. Maybe peace for Palestinians and the guilt of illegal occupation is not a strong enough mobilizer. They need to reeeally convince fellow Jews that occupation of Palestinian lands should not be the legacy of the Holocaust. When that happens to any serious degree, may be I will change my mind about the existence of the state of Israel.

Anyway, nothing worthy of note has happened while this monster has grown in the U.S. media. It is now up to the average Americans to stand up because a nuclear holocaust maybe upon us if this situation is allowed to continue. I believe a nuclear holocaust on American soil IS a strong mobilizer. Things are getting more portable every day, and everyone knows there is no real border security when it comes to goods and people. It's just a matter of time. Only one terrorist with a suitcase nuclear device.

I am an evangelical Christian(my Reformed theology--yes, there are different kinds of evangelicals-- does not necessitate the state of Israel for the Second Coming of Christ)and a FORMER neocon, until the August war in Lebanon when Israelis started to drop cluster bombs(second time since 1982, I found out) on a nation with democratically elected government which is pro-West and pro-American with a population of 40% Christians. These Christians (typical of most Christians in the Middle East) go back to the first century, before there even were Christians in Europe, let alone New England pilgrims. I still am a conservative - fiscally, socially, and I still believe in a strong military. I just believe that American military should protect American interests and the interests of its friends, not threaten its friends and its own security and well being.

VOTE, JOIN, SPREAD THE WORD,AND GIVE MONEY, YES MONEY AND THE MORE YOU CAN AFFORD TO GIVE THE BETTER. ITS ALL(MOSTLY) ABOUT MONEY. WE HAVE TO OUTSPEND AIPAC!!!

Posted by: jacob | December 27, 2006 12:41 AM

Jacob I think it is time for you to get back on your medication and return to the institute for some "relaxation".

Posted by: The Sane One | December 27, 2006 01:39 PM

Hey thanks for reading my stuff. Invite your friends to read about the "crazy Christian fundamentalist that is anti-Israel".

Posted by: jacob | December 27, 2006 02:30 PM

"Terrorism is the war of the poor. War is the Terrorism of the rich." Ambassador Edward L. Peck

Posted by: Thom | December 28, 2006 09:46 AM

"Boredom terrorizes us all." - Hunky Santa

Posted by: Hunky Santa | December 28, 2006 11:04 AM

I just have one question:

SO WHAT if Jimmy Carter's book IS biased?! It's not like there has ever been a non-biased politician, especially not one who has occupied the Oval Office.

When some1 finally dared to speak up against Israel, suddenly people remembered that presidents were supposed to be perfect human beings, who have no political leniencies what-so-ever, and who deliver fair and well-rounded messages to the world! C'mon. He never claimed that he was writing the newEST testament... it's just a book, by a person, with an opinion! Is that such a crime?

The only reason people are bringing this up is because Jimmy Carter happened to be 'biased' against Israelis, and not against Palestinians. Like they are somehow unworthy of favoritism.
Being a 'jew-hater' or an 'Arab-sympathiser' have become synonyms. This is absurd!

I am all for free speech, and if Jimmy Carter wants to express his unexplainable, nauseating, grotesque (please sense the sarcasm) - next they'll be calling it 'un-American' - sympathy for Arabs... then let it be! He has the right to his own opinion...leave the man alone!

Posted by: aj | December 29, 2006 08:00 PM

sam/sammi -

got to admire your debating skills - unfortunately you forgot the first few pages of your iapac handbook whereby you are supposed to find one tiny aspect of the debate to focus on ad nauseum and ONLY THEN do you start throwing around the anti semite blah blah blah - anyway at least you are trying - keep up the bad work...next I would highly recommend you try the mentirosa mentirosa pantalones en fuego argument...

No complaints from anyone who received Mr Carter's book from me - interestingly most thought that the only "bias" it contained was that it was not a completely one sided pro isreal piece!!!

Posted by: Angus | December 30, 2006 10:22 PM

I just hope that idiot-harlot Pelosi stops pandering to the jews. We ARE involved in the jewish holy-war, as P.I. as that may be. And last I checked, there is no way to steal a country without causing a war; there are ALWAYS going to be those who opt to fight rather than taking it up their behinds.

Posted by: Dave | January 2, 2007 12:56 PM

As a resident anti-Israel evangelical Christian of the Reformed(Calvinist) persuasion, I want to tell you guys about a quiet powerful revolution taking place in American evangelicalism. Non-denominational Reformed movement, often called Calvinism, named after John Calvin, the 16th century Protestant Reformer, is also known by TULIP, Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints.

Theological points aside, important thing for those in this comment forum is that Reformed theology does not consider Jews per say as God's chosen people, although in the Old Testament and New Testament early church era, Israelites and Jews comprised the majority of the universal church--God's chosen or "elect". Therefore, the state of Israel is not seen as necessary for the Second Coming of Christ.

The largest Protestant evangelical seminary in the country, the Southern Baptist Seminary has a faculty that is 96% Reformed starting in 1993 and other seminaries are following suit with students to match.(christianitytoday.com "Young, Restless, Reformed"9/22/06) Incidentally, Carter is a Southern Baptist. They are THE LARGEST group of evangelicals in the U.S. I am a conservative Presbyterian, a smaller group. The Southern Baptist Convention's International Missions Board has recently banned its missionaries from teaching and promoting "speaking in tongues".("Tongues Tied" christiantytoday.com 2/1/06) For non-Christians this may not sound like much of a news, but glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues" is a product of the pentecostal, charismatic movement which became popular since the 70's that harbors such nonsense as the necessity of the state of Israel for the second coming of Christ, which Israelis and Israel boosters were more than eager to harness, popularized in the current "Left Behind" series of books and video game that has Armageddon taking place in Israel. Banning of once popular "speaking in tongues", not important in and of itself, is an indication of the Reformed movement's gathering influence and reach.

Granted, many Calvinist or Reformed evangelicals are Neocons as I was, but it is often for misplaced patriotism as Israel is seen as an ally, a democracy, and that our interests coincide with theirs. They are under the same AIPAC controlled media disinformation as the rest of America.

All I needed to see was the cluster bombing of Lebanon(40% Christian, significant portion of them evangelical Christians) and Walt and Mearsheimer's Israel Lobby paper to swiftly convince me otherwise. So America's 40% evangelical Christians are ripe for the picking if shown the truth about Israel. It would be as easy as cow tipping for anyone who has ever engaged in the activity. Now imagine these cows lined up like dominoes.

Reformed evangelicals, I assure you, are not going to countenance walling off of Bethlehem, once 80% Arabic Christian now only 20%, the effect in an area anywhere Israelis have laid their boots on. The Iraq war has jeopardized the once peaceful lives of many Middle Eastern Christians. Many middle class evangelicals are simply unaware of these facts. Tourists to the "Holy Land" are effectively shielded from the daily lives of the Palestinians in their tourist bus bubble.

Many of us do not realize that AIPAC is a house of cards, imposing from a distance, but in actuality is run by an old man(legacy media) behind the curtain, cum Wizard of Oz.

Happy New Year, and let the cow tipping begin!

Posted by: | January 2, 2007 05:24 PM

Forgot to type in my name. The above post is mine.

Posted by: jacob | January 2, 2007 05:26 PM

J,

First off, a happy New Year to you and all posters.

Because Israel "won" the OTs in a war does not necessarily make the people residing there residents of Israel. JA said it well - "The OT are not part of Israel due to their own decisions. The stance of the PA is to not be a part of Israel and not declare themselves a country (so they leave themselves purposely stuck in the middle)". So i guess, somehow, according to you, this leaves them in a position that is "actually much worse than Apartheid, but there is not yet a universally accepted term that describes their treatment". I still fail to see how this is or is worse than Apartheid. And I have a hard time not using the phrase "shooting themselves in the foot" when discussing their situation.

Should Israel help them improve their situation and not humiliate them so? Yeah they definitely should. It would probably be to Israels benefit to do so (as well as the Palestinians). But there are a lot of shoulds. Should the Palestinians elect a different (non-terrorist) government? Should the PA actually try to shut down suicide bombers? Should everyone involved recognize Israels right to exist? Should Israel dismantle more settlements? Should both sides actually decide that there can be a 2 state solution and that they should live side by side peacfully? But as it stands now, neither side is able or willing to sit down and talk with the other about solving any of the problems (including the OT issues). The Palestinians won't because Hamas is in charge and won't negotiate with a country they don't recognize and Israel won't because they won't negotiate with a government bent on destroying them. Nor are they able to do anything unilaterally, Hamas because of what they stand for and Israel because of security and principle. Which leads me to think that the core issue is not the OTs but the fact that Hamas is currently the "negotiating" entity for the Palestinians. Until that fact changes, i don't see a lot in the way of movement on either side.

Posted by: Dave! | January 2, 2007 05:42 PM

aj

"I am all for free speech, and if Jimmy Carter wants to express his unexplainable, nauseating, grotesque (please sense the sarcasm) - next they'll be calling it 'un-American' - sympathy for Arabs... then let it be! He has the right to his own opinion...leave the man alone!"

To paraphrase Voltaire, I may not agree with what he says but i will defend to the death his right to say it. That said, he deserves the criticisms that come with a book such as this. He has the right to his own opinion, no matter how one sided it is. And we have the right to call him on it.

Posted by: Dave! | January 2, 2007 06:17 PM

Dave!:

"Which leads me to think that the core issue is not the OTs but the fact that Hamas is currently the "negotiating" entity for the Palestinians."

Hamas's election can also be traced, among other factors, to the refusal of the Israelis to negotiate, first with Yasser Arafat and then with Abbas. Now all of a sudden Israel decides to support Abbas in an attempt to quell the civil strife that they are also responsible for because of the economic sanctions they have applied.

What will Israel's attitude be after the dust settles? Suppose Abbas emerges the victor, is Israel going to change its behavior and start negotiations to return to the internationally recognized borders? Going by Israel's attitude, when Abbas was in charge before, that does not seem likely, though there is hope in that it is Olmert and not Sharon who is Prime Minister.

My personal opinion is that Israel will continue to use Hamas as a distraction to perpetuate its policy of not negotiating with the Palestinians until such time as the popular opinion in Israel is heavily in favor of returning the occupied territories and the political will exists to take on the rabid settler movement and dismantle their settlements.

Posted by: Zain | January 4, 2007 03:10 PM

Zain,
Israel did have issues negotiating with Arafat (but they did). Once he died, there was a time when nobody was really in charge. Once Abbas rose to a position which allowed him to be a negotiator, it was time for the elections. To say that Hamas (committed to the destruction of Israel) is being used as a "distraction" is somewhat disingenuous as they are, and continue to reassert the fact that they believe that Israel should be removed from the Middle East equation.

Posted by: Dave! | January 4, 2007 03:32 PM

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